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Dineros of Peru and their Antecedents

Category:  World Coins
Owner:  Forest City
Last Modified:  11/28/2017
  
Set Description

Introduction To My Set

This set is meant as an informative showcase for Peruvian Dineros and those denominations leading towards the Dinero. Peruvian minors are a largely neglected sub-grouping of numismatics, with minimal literature dedicated to their study. I hope the research I have done for this set goes some way to rectify the paucity of information on the Dinero series. On the front page you will find a complete history and rundown for each type with a brief date-by-date analysis. Click on individual coins for additional information regarding varieties, populations, availability, and detailed further discussion. There are also front page sections devoted to discussion of: rarity by grade, known mintages, grading, pricing, and literature. Additionally I provide historical information on the coin types leading up to the Dinero. The discussion of these early types is kept to a "type coin" dialogue, focusing on an historical and general overview sans coverage by date and varieties. While I, as any author must, rely on previously written sources (see "Further Reading"), much of the research here is my own.

The Dineros are possibly the most difficult set of decimal Peruvian seated minors to assemble in Uncirculated condition, and probably in circulated grades as well. See the discussion below. While my set is not 100 percent complete, it does boast some great rarities, the centerpiece being the exceedingly rare 1855 Pattern Proof 10 Centimos, of which only a few are known. Other highlights include two Reals that are both the lone finest graded for their type, the rare 1872 Dinero in MS 64, and the rare 1894/3 Dinero in MS 62 (both the finest graded currently in holders), as well as the single year type 1886 Cuzco Dinero in the top grade of MS 62. For any Dineros I don't own or haven't yet sent in for grading, there is still a full write-up for those dates. The exception is the 10 Centavos fiduciary coins of 1879 and 1880. I do not intend to purchase these coins in holders due to their being very common and of low value. See discussion under "Inbetween Years". (Edit: I was able to purchase the lone uber Gem 1879 at reasonable cost and have added it to the set with further information).

Of note: Population reports are accurate as of November 2017. Please remember that nice raw examples still exist in Peru ungraded. Because the 1885 ACC Arequipa Dinero is not listed in Krause, I can not add it, so it will be discussed only on the front page in the date-by-date analysis.

The prices in Krause 1901-2000 have been adjusted recently, but the prices in the 1801-1900 book have not. Keep in mind these 19th Century prices are out-of-date and often too low. With the exception of a couple dates, all Dineros are much more scarce than their 1/2 Dinero counterparts.


Ten Fun Facts You Will Learn When You Read Through My Set:

  • Which Dinero has a letter punched in facing 90 degrees in the wrong direction?

  • In which year was the Dinero struck on one day only?

  • Why do the Dineros of 1900-1903 have so many overdates?

  • Which Peruvian coins were designed by James Longacre and stuck at the Philadelphia Mint (known as the very first coins struck in the United States for a foreign government)?

  • Which Dinero has a word spelled incorrectly?

  • Which Dinero is listed in the Standard Catalog but only known as a counterfeit?

  • Why was a Dinero struck in Cuzco for only one year?

  • Why was a Spanish Real struck in Peru after the country declared Independance?

  • In what year did a mint employee mistakenly use a "1" punch for an "I"?

  • Why did the assayer's initials go from "TF" to just "F" in 1896?

  • Bonus eleventh fact: Which Dinero is known to be unique...just one known?




Historical Background and Date By Date Discussion By Type

Eight Types of Antecedants: 1/8 Pesos, Royalist Reals struck in Independant Peru, and the early Standing Reals

We begin with the nascent modern state of Peru fighting for it's survival. The following Reals and 1/8 Peso are the precursors to the Dinero. When Peru moved to a decimal system in 1858-1863, this denomination was re-named, re-valued at 10 cents from the previous 12 1/2 cents, and had it's diameter reduced as well as its weight (from 3.38 grams to 2.5 grams). Yet the Dinero was still a coin the general public knew as the "Real". Let's begin:

Though Peru declared Independence in 1821, the Royalist forces took Lima for one month in 1823 and struck Reals (as well as other denominations) of Ferdinand VII at the Lima mint. This type was struck 1811-1821 and 1823. All dates are rare in high grades, especially the 1823. The 1823 Real is the last Spanish Real struck at the Lima mint.

On their way out, the Royalists absconded with the Lima mint machinery and set the building ablaze. They then brought forth a "provisional mint" in Cuzco in 1824 and struck Royalist Reals there (as well as 2 and 8 Reales). This mint would later strike coins of Independent Peru beginning in 1826. 1824 Reals are very scarce in any grade; I have never seen a mint state example. These Cuzco 1824 Reals are the very last of the Spanish Reals struck in Peru.

While these Spanish incursions were occurring, independent Peru was also striking its first coins in 1822-1823; this was a stop-gap provisional coinage to provide small coin for circulation. One of these was the copper 1/8 Peso. The 1/8 Peso was valued at 12 1/2 Cents, matching the value of the Real at the time. These "Octavo De Peso", as well as the "Quarto De Peso" were reportedly restruck in 1921 as part of the 100th Anniversary of Independence celebration. No clear way of distinguishing between original and restrikes is known. However, those 1/8 Pesos with the letter "V" are less likely to be restrikes. 1/8 Pesos are generally available in circulated grades, though they are more scare than the 1/4 Pesos. Planchet pitting and weak strikes are the norm. Please see further discussion on the 1823 1/8 Peso page for a complete history.

Regular coinage of Reals started in 1826. There are five types of these standing liberty Reals. Type 1 was struck from 1826-1840 in Lima. Type 2 was struck 1841-1856. This is the same as the first type with the addition of the fineness of the silver noted on the reverse. The fineness was added to aid in identifying the "good" coins versus the debased moneda feble. Type 3 was struck from 1827 until 1831 in Cuzco (abbreviated "CUZ" on the coins). Type 4 was struck in 1834. It is the same as type 3, except the word Cuzco is spelled in full rather than "CUZ". Type 5 is the 1838 Real of North Peru, struck during the years of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation, which says "NOR-PERUANO" on the reverse.

Most existing standing liberty Reals are in low grade. Type 2 is the most available in mint state, but still very scarce. Type 1 is rare in mint state, though some examples do exist. Note: The Krause catalog states that the 1835/3 is "reported, not confirmed". In actuality, I have seen many examples of this date.

The Cuzco Reals are unknown in mint state (bar one UNC Details 1831), and are very rare in any grade. None of any date have been straight graded at NGC! The 1838 North Peru Real is scarce, but not nearly as rare as previously thought. While auction catalogs report there are 3 to 6 known, 15-25 would seem to be the more accurate number. Most examples are lower grade, however there is one very attractive raw mint state specimen in a museum in Peru.

Towards the Dinero: 1855 Pattern and Reals 1859-1861

The monetary situation was dire in 1850's Peru. Bolivian debased coins, or "Moneda Feble" made up the bulk of circulating coin in the country, counterfeits of good Peruvian coin were rampant (due to an overly simple design that wore quickly, counterfeits were not much of a challenge to pass), and technical problems plagued the mint in Lima. What .903 fine silver coin was struck by Peru was mostly exported to foreign markets, leaving the country awash in debased Feble. Peru's neighbor to the South, Chile, moved to a Decimal monetary system in 1852, a move that cause the wheels of change to slowly churn in Peru.

For many years the country bickered about how best to amortize the Feble. Various new policies were enacted to clean up the Peruvian money. New minting equipment arrived from the US in 1855 so as produce more uniform coins. The Pasco mint was shuttered in order to focus efforts at uniformity in Lima.

Pattern Proof 10 Centimos were produced by the United States for Peru in 1855 along with other denominations as a preparatory step towards a new Decimal coinage. These featured the same design as the then current "Pesos of Castilla" and were the first coins struck by the US for a foreign state. Only a few of these Proofs survive. These 10 Centimos, as well as the forthcoming Reals and Dineros, are all the diameter of a US dime, and valued at 10 Cents. The old-style Reals were close in size to a US nickel, but much thinner, and valued at 12 1/2 cents.

The law of 1857, though never fully implemented, was the important next step. It was proposed to stop accepting the Feble at nominal value. There was to be a new Decimal coinage of 100 Centisimos to the Peso. The 20 Centavo piece was to be the "Peseta", a term resurrected in 1880.

The coinage struck in semi-accordance with the Law of 1857 are now known as the "Transitionals". Importantly, in 1858, a talented engraver was hired from Great Britain. Only 25, Robert Britten, a former apprentice and teacher at the Birmingham Mint, brought expertise that was sorely lacking in the engraving department. He was to be the engraver for the transitional Reals of 1859-1861, and the forthcoming Dineros. His work was of very high artistic capability compared to other Latin American engravers of the day.

The first coins of the transitional series were the 1858 1/2 Real and 50 Centimos, of the old "Peso of Castilla" design. These were struck from hubs produced in the US. These coins brought a premium in the marketplace and were quickly exported making little dent in Peru's monetary crisis. Next came the 50 Centavos of 1858-59. Because silver was on the rise, these were also largely exported.

The Reals, first appearing in 1859, were the transitional coin between the old Reales and the new Dineros. These featured a Seated Liberty design by engraver Robert Britten, a British transplant to Peru, which was to be slightly tweaked for the future Dineros. 1859's are rarely seen. 1860 is the available Real, but the number of survivors are much smaller than for the very common 1860 1/2 Real, and can be a considerable challenge to find in Gem. The 1861 featured a slightly altered reverse, now with bent leaves. This date is rare in all grades, and even more difficult than the 1859.

The transitionals were both success and failure. Much more uniform than the previous circulating coinage, these new designs largely thwarted counterfeiters. However, a great many varieties exist with these coins, with varying weights being reported.

The First Dineros - Early Type Dineros: 1863-1877

The new Dineros, designed by Britten, were of the same diameter and a similar design as the previous transitional Reals. The overall design was flattened slightly, and design elements on the reverse were now more compact. The overall aesthetic of the Reals was a bit more pleasing. Although these coins had a new name, the "Dinero", the public still often referred to them by the old Spanish nomenclature: Reals. Robert Britten's initials can be found on the early Dineros to the left of the shield in the rock. The new decimal coins were part of a bi-metallic monetary system which placed the value of gold to silver at 20:1.

Many early dates come in a diversity of die varieties, with each coin being more individualistic than the somewhat more streamlined coins of later years. Overall, circulated examples are readily available for many early Dinero dates. Uncirculated coins are much more challenging and under-appreciated, however.

In the first year of Dineros, 1863, the mint took great care in producing these coins. They often come well struck and with good luster in mint state. With the 1864 Dineros, the mint became more sloppy with it's letter and numeral punches. Varieties abound for this year; in fact the most varieties for any Dinero in the whole series. Of most interest are an 1864 Dinero with a "1" used as an "I" in DINO and one with a Roman "1" used in the date. During the year, the colon following REPUB was changed to a period. Both types are found on Dineros of 1864. The 1863 Dinero is more available in mint state with the 1864 being scarce. The 1865 Dinero is scarce in all grades, and I have not yet seen a mint state example. Varieties include a Roman "1" and 1865/3. I am skeptical of the reported 1865 6/5.

1866 is very common in circulated grades, which are always available. However, high end mint-state specimens are more challenging. Myriad dies were used to strike this date. There is an unconfirmed 1867 Dinero listed in the standard catalog. No research has yet shown evidence of a genuine coin of this year. By 1867, the introduction of small decimal coins, including the Dinero, had aided in the full conversion of the debased moneda feble.

The 1870's saw the mint in Lima struggling with it's ill-kept machinery to keep up with the need for small coin in Peru, even after new hardware was installed. By 1872, silver was the de facto legal coinage, and as the price of silver began to depreciate, all gold coin was exported. By the end of the decade, private bank paper money was to be the main circulating tender. Most 1870 Dineros are struck over old dies from the 1860's, showing a 7/6 in the date. In this year the assayer initials changed from YB to YJ. Jose Agustin Figueroa (J) replaced Bernardo Aguilar (B). Aguilar had served since the early 1830's, first at branch mints and then at Lima. Figueroa was to serve a long term until his death in 1907 from tuberculosis. Many 1870's also show a J struck over the old die's B. See discussion under the 1870 Dinero for more information on additional varieties. any 1870 Dinero in true mint state is a good find.

The 1872 Dinero was struck on only one day and is a key date for the entire Dinero series. Circulated examples only come up for auction perhaps one or two times (or less) a year, and mint state examples are rare. All 1872 Dineros are struck over older dies, showing a 7/6 and J/B. The "regular" date in Krause can be ignored. Both the 1874 and 1875 Dineros are easy to find in circulated grades. The later is the most available early Dinero in mint state, while the former is a touch more challenging to locate. In 1874 the dot under the "O" in DINO was replaced by a bar. The three main varieties for the 1874 are thus: with dot, with bar, and with bar and Roman "1". The 1874's with dot are quite scarce. Curiously, the 1875's only have very minor varieties despite the larger numbers struck. 1877 is less available then some of the more common early dates, but it does sometimes appear in low-end mint state. There is a neat error of 1877 where "FELIZ" is spelled "FEILZ".

Inbetween Years: Provisional 10 Centavos, Arequipa and Cuzco Mints Re-open, and the 1886 Proof Dineros

The 1880's were a chaotic time for Peru's monetary system, in large part due to the effects of the War of the Pacific on the country early in the decade. The 1879 and 1880 10 Centavos provisional coins, featuring a sun-face on the obverse, were temporary copper-nickel (75 percent copper, 25 percent nickel) replacements for the Dinero, issued to provide a small coin replacement for the circulating fractional paper money. These were a touch larger than a US nickel (22.3 mm rather than 21. 2 mm) and just a smidge over the 5 gram weight of the nickel. They were manufactured in Brussels in large numbers (see mintages below). Both dates are extremely common, with nice raw mint state examples always available. Sellers often mark-up holdered examples well beyond their real value. The 1879 is seemingly difficult in Gem or better, with only one coin at NGC graded in MS 66 (none in 65), and one each in 66 and 67 at PCGS, however I believe there to be some raw Gems in the market. What is in theory very rare is the 1880 Proof 10 Centavos, of which I only know of one coin. It is in a PCGS PF 64 holder, and sold at Heritage in June 2006 for $59. Further information on this proof coin (and the 1879 Proof 5 Centavos) is absent. A strong possibility exists that these proof coins are label errors by PCGS, yet these proofs are listed in Krause. Krause can be wrong, however. It would be odd for Brussels to strike a proof of one denomination in 1879 and the other in 1880. If this coin came to market today, and is a true proof, I would expect it to bring exponential multiples of that paltry number. My belief, though, is they are unlikely to be proof strikings. The other provisional coins were the 1879 and 1880 5 Centavos and 1879 20 Centavos.

No Dineros were minted in Lima between 1877 and 1888. Small coin was desperately needed during the civil war period of 1884-1885 following the War of the Pacific. The Arequipa Mint was re-opened in 1885, decreed to only mint Dineros and 1/5 Sols to fill this need. The Mint only operated a few months. Problems with the machinery and the low quality of the produced coins lead to it's closure. The 1885 Arequipa 1/5 sols are extremely rare, with perhaps only 10 or so now known. The 1885 Dinero is exceedingly rare, and is believe to be unique. A photo of both sides of this coin can be seen in Volume VI of Flatt's "The Coins of Independent Peru". The reverse is also the cover photo for Yabar's 1996 book (see Further Reading for more information). This coin is very similar to Lima minted Dineros, but more crude. The Dinero is not listed in Krause, but needs to be. To the left of the shield of the 1885 Dinero is the name GAMBOA. Enrique A. Gamboa was the head of operation. Flatt believes the assayer initials A.A.C. on the reverse may be the initials of Alejandro A. Caballero. Only the initials A.C. appear on the 1/5 Sol of 1885. I have been told by an associate in Peru that the unique 1885 Arequipa Dinero resides with a collector who cleans all his coins!

The Cuzco mint was also re-opened in 1885 in an attempt to replace the "cut" coins then circulating. They struck 1/2 Dineros in 1885 and Dineros in 1886. 1886 Dineros are scarce, but traceable in grades below XF, and often come cleaned. Their somewhat crude and flat design wore quickly in the public's hand. Mint state examples are very rare. They come in varieties with or without initials to the left of the shield on the obverse, and differences in the "1" in the date on the reverse.

Also in 1886, further steps were taken to ensure proper minor circulating coins were available. Pitiful numbers of primitive looking small coin were coming from the briefly re-opened Cuzco and Arequipa Mints, the engraver Robert Britten had passed in 1882, and the Lima Mint had damaged or missing equipment following the War. Peru looked towards Great Britain for help. Leonard C. Wyon at the Royal Mint was contracted to produce matrices for new Seated Liberty coins. These matrices ended up being the wrong diameter, and thus were not able to be used other than to strike six Proof versions of each denomination. The Proof 1886 Dineros are very rare and almost never seen on the market.

1888-1892: A New Beginning

Someone attempting a Dinero set by type in Uncirculated grades may become frustrated by the dirth of available examples from these years. The design was fully reworked from the 1863-1877 type. The matrices based on the 1886 Pattern Proof were the wrong diameter, and were thus not used. The new design imitated very closely the obverse of the 1886 Pattern with LIBER-TAD excuse, but with a much smaller shield and wreath on the reverse.

The 1888 Dinero is the rarest Lima mint date/assayer coin of, not just the Dinero series, but of all Peruvian silver series 1858-1935. In any given year, it is likely no examples will be offered. See the 1888 page for a complete census. The 1890 is the only available date, and even then, is still very scarce in mint state. Only four have been graded. I have identified four types of 1890's; please see the 1890 page for further discussion. The 1891 and 1892 are also rare in all grades, especially the 1892. Only one 1891 has been graded; none for 1892; both are undervalued. 1890 and 1891 come with a curved or flat-top "1" in the date; 1888 and 1892 with only flat top.

1893-1903: Liber-tad Sinks In and UN DINO Gets Curvy

In 1893, the design was tweaked; LIBER-TAD became incuse, UN DINO became a curved rather than straight line, and the overall aesthetic became "mushier". It is not clear why re-worked matrices were made in this year. The coins of 1893 through 1895 are all fairly difficult in most grades. The 1893 is the most available of the three, appearing in lower-end mint state on occasion. The 1894 is one of most rare and expensive dates in the entire series. Most all 1894's appear to be the overdate 1894/3. Flatt does show photographic evidence of a plain date, however. The 1895 Dinero is difficult in all grades and almost never seen without wear. 1896 TF rarely appears in better condition on the market, though some very high end MS 67 coins have been graded, which is not true for the 1896 F, another scarce coin, which is more available in lower-end mint state than the "TF". A rare and eye-catching error of the 1896 F shows the "E" in FIRME rotated 90 degrees to the right. 1897 and 1898 are underrated dates. Both 1897 JF and VN are rarely seen in Uncirculated condition, although a few of each are graded. A small group of mint state 1898 Dineros has been sold on a foreign site, but other than those, this date is not often seen. Some come with a bold error: D/F in DINO. No Dineros were struck in 1899, though counterfeits may exist.

A word on the assayer initials: "TF" stood for Torrico y Mesa and Juan Figueroa. The law was changed in the 1896 to allow just one head assayer. Juan Figueroa was the man left standing, and only his initial "F" is seen on some coins of 1896. In 1897, the mint began using two initials for the assayer, thus "JF" for Juan Figueroa, or "VN" for Vicente Novoa (in 1897 only when the assistant assayer took over coining duties). 1897 also marketed the year Peru converted to the Gold standard. The value of silver had dropped by half since the early 1880's, necessitating a new standard. Starting in 1897, small coin, including Dineros, was made from melted down Soles.

The design was again to be tweaked for the Dinero in 1904 (1901 for the 1/5 Sol; 1907 for the 1/2 Dinero). Before this changeover, dies were used from previous 19th Century years to strike the Dineros of 1900, 1902, and 1903, causing a rash of various overdates. 1900 and 1903 are much more available than most previous dates of the 1890's, although finding Gem examples of the 1903 may prove difficult, and none have yet been graded. The 1902 is an underrated year, with only five examples graded in mint state at PCGS/NGC. No Dineros were minted in 1901; beware coins with altered dates.

1904-1916: The Final Years

These later date Dineros are overall the most available and easily findable in Uncirculated grades. There are, however, a few sleepers in the midst and rare varieties. The design was reworked in subtle ways. The lettering becomes more streamlined, less "chunky," and the elements of the reverse shield are re-engraved. The wreath above the shield is also remade with a new texture. The Seated Liberty herself is largely similar, but has a more "crisp" look about her.

1904 is an underrated date in mint state, although available with some searching. Gems are rare. 1905 and 1906 are both available in nice Uncirculated. The former is the only real "hoard" Dinero (a small hoard of about 200 coins). It often comes extremely nice with intense Prooflike fields.

In 1907 Francisco Gamara (initials FG) replaced the long-tenured Figueroa as assayer. Figueroa had passed away from tuberculosis. 1907 FG is easily findable in higher grades, though not in Gem. The 1907 JF is believed to be counterfeit only (despite one example being graded at NGC. I believe this is most likely a typo). Dineros of 1907 through 1913 may feature a dot below the O in DINO in various placement, or lack said dot. The new assayers initials FG are also commonly punched over old dies with the JF initals. See further discussion under individual coins for more specifics on these varieties; some dates are rare with or without dot. Some "non-sense" over-lettering is reported.

The 1908 Dinero is generally traceable in most grades through low-end Uncirculated, but tougher in Gem. 1909 is the Key to the later dates, and is rarely seen in true mint state. 1910 and 1911 are moderately better dates; they may take some time to find if you are looking for a high-end example. 1912 and 1913 are more available in all grades. No Dineros were minted in 1914 or 1915, as World War I began (though other denominations were struck in these years). 1916 sees the final year of the Dinero. Although this date is traceable in high-end mint state with some searching, it's not quite as easy to find as the low Standard Catalogue pricing would have one believe. The Dinero is overshadowed by it's exceedingly common 1/2 Dinero cousin of the same date. The 1916 Dinero comes in Small Date and Large Date varieties. The later is seemingly very scarce, although these two date sizes are confusing (see further discussion under my 1916 Dinero).

The price of silver began a strong recovery in 1916 and into 1917. 1917 was to be the last of the 90 percent silver decimal coins minted in Peru. The Dinero was replaced by the copper-nickel 10 Centavo piece in 1918. These featured a "cereal head" woman on the obverse, and a simplistic design on the reverse sans the Peruvian Coat of Arms. The 10 Centavos were to see many changes in composition, location where struck, thickness, and design before the "cereal head" design was finally retired in 1965. They are a set of coins in need of deeper research.

Rarity by Date in Gem Mint State

These comments are based on my experience viewing raw Dineros and the population reports.
Some dates are common through MS 64, but unavailable in Gem condition.


1855 Pattern Proof 10 Centimos - May Not Exist
1859 Real - May Not Exist
1860 Real - Very Scarce
1861 Real - May Not Exist
1863 - Scarce
1864 - Rare
1865 - May Not Exist
1866 - Rare
1870 - May Not Exist
1872 - Exceedingly Rare
1874 - Very Scarce
1875 - Scarce
1877 - Rare
1879 10 Centavos - Common
1880 10 Centavos - Common
1886 JM Cuzco - May Not Exist
1886 Pattern Proof - Extremely Rare
1888 - May Not Exist
1890 - Rare
1891 - May Not Exist
1892 - Exceedingly Rare
1893 - Extremely Rare, May Not Exist
1894 - May Not Exist
1895 - Exceedingly Rare
1896 TF - Scarce
1896 F - Rare
1897 VN - Very Scarce
1897 JF - Very Scarce
1898 - Rare
1900 - Common
1902 - Very Rare
1903 - Very Rare
1904 - Rare
1905 - Common
1906 - Somewhat Common
1907 FG - Scarce
1908 - Somewhat Scarce
1909 - Rare
1910 - Somewhat Scarce
1911 - Scarce
1912 - Somewhat Scarce
1913 - Somewhat Common
1916 - Common

Rarity by Date in Low-End Mint State MS 61-MS 63

1855 Pattern Proof 10 Centimos - Exceedingly Rare
1859 Real - Rare
1860 Real - Somewhat scarce
1861 Real - Very Rare
1863 - Somewhat Scarce
1864 - Scarce
1865 - May Not Exist
1866 - Somewhat Scarce
1870 - Very Scarce
1872 - Very Rare
1874 - Scarce
1875 - Somewhat Scarce
1877 - Somewhat Scarce
1879 10 Centavos - Common
1880 10 Centavos - Common
1886 JM Cuzco - Very Rare
1886 Pattern Proof - Extremely Rare
1888 - Extremely Rare
1890 - Very Scarce
1891 - Very Rare
1892 - Very Rare
1893 - Scarce
1894 - Very Rare
1895 - Rare
1896 TF - Very Scarce
1896 F - Somewhat Scarce
1897 VN - Scarce
1897 JF - Scarce
1898 - Somewhat Scarce
1900 - Common
1902 - Somewhat Scarce
1903 - Common
1904 - Somewhat Scarce
1905 - Common
1906 - Somewhat Common
1907 FG - Common
1908 - Somewhat Scarce
1909 - Scarce
1910 - Somewhat Scarce
1911 - Somewhat Scarce
1912 - Somewhat Common
1913 - Common
1916 - Common

Rarity by Date in Circulated Grades Good through About Uncirculated

1855 Pattern Proof 10 Centimos - None May Have Circulated
1859 Real - Very Scarce
1860 Real - Somewhat Common
1861 Real - Rare
1863 - Somewhat Common
1864 - Common
1865 - Scarce
1866 - Common
1870 - Somewhat Scarce
1872 - Very Scarce
1874 - Somewhat Common
1875 - Common
1877 - Somewhat Scarce
1879 10 Centavos - Common
1880 10 Centavos - Common
1886 JM Cuzco - Somewhat Scarce
1886 Pattern Proof - None May Have Circulated
1888 - Very Rare
1890 - Scarce
1891 - Very Scarce
1892 - Rare
1893 - Somewhat Scarce
1894 - Rare
1895 - Very Scarce
1896 TF - Scarce
1896 F - Somewhat Scarce
1897 VN - Somewhat scarce
1897 JF - Somewhat Scarce
1898 - Somewhat Scarce
1900 - Common
1902 - Scarce
1903 - Common
1904 - Scarce
1905 - Common
1906 - Common
1907 FG - Common
1908 - Somewhat Common
1909 - Scarce
1910 - Somewhat scarce
1911 - Somewhat Scarce
1912 - Somewhat Common
1913 - Common
1916 - Common

Known Mintages

Any date not listed has an unknown mintage. Mintages across the board are very small by United States standards. Overall, reported mintages do tend to correspond to current scarcity. But most Dineros circulated and many were eventually melted, leaving many fewer survivors than the mintages would suggest.

While the 1890 Dinero is not exceedingly rare, the mintage would suggest a more common coin than actually exists. Lower mintage coins in the last few years of a coin series are more likely to survive in high grades, as they didn't have time to circulate and may have been kept as a memento of the "old type".


1855 Pattern - 6
1879 10 Centavos - 3,005,000
1880 10 Centavos - 4,000,000
1886 Pattern - 6
1888 - 10,000
1890 - 400,000
1891 - 60,000
1892 - 69,000
1893 - 23,000
1895 - 90,000
1896 - 534,000 (Both assayers)
1897 - 510,500 (both assayers)
1898 - 200,000
1900 - 550,000
1902 - 374,500
1903 - 887,000
1904 - 380,000
1905 - 700,000
1906 - 826,000
1907 - 500,000
1908 - 200,000
1910 - 210,000
1911 - 200,000
1912 - 400,000
1913 - 360,000
1916 - 430,000

Grading Mint State Dineros, Die/Planchet Issues, and High Points of the Design

High Points on Dineros:

Judging wear on early Dineros is more difficult than on the larger decimal denominations where first points of contact are more obvious. US collectors may assume the leg/knee as a good point of reference, but this would be in error. The leg is not a high point, and is often weakly struck so as to confuse some into believing wear is present when it is not. The best places to look on early Dineros are Liberty's hair curls and cheek, and her shall near her breast and shoulder on the obverse. The reverse is fairly unreliable for judging wear on AU coins, but the sides of the leaves to the right of the shield and the center of the cornucopia are high points. Yet, these areas are often weakly struck. On borderline coins, I mainly look to see if the luster is broken or not. On Dineros of the 1890's and later, the elbow is higher and may be a first point of wear. The breast is also higher, but is often weakly struck. On the reverse of the later Dineros, look at the bottom of the center leaf directly to the right of the cornucopia.

Planchet and Die Issues Seen on Dineros that may effect the grade:


  • Die Lines: Thin lines will appear in the field due to polishing of the dies. They may be parallel, cross-hatch, circular, or a mix of these. These are commonly seen on the reverses of the later date Dineros, but can appear on any date. They sometimes rotate in the light and should not be confused with cleaning or damage. Generally no points are taken off for die lines.

  • Die Scratches and Die Chatter: These occur when the die is cleaned with a brush or the dies become clogged with dirt. To the untrained eye these may appear to be contact/damage. The 1905 Dineros often have die scratches and chatter, as do do some of the early 1900's dates. Sometimes NGC will take off one or two points for these, sometimes not, depending on the size and severity.

  • Adjustment Marks: These are parallel marks that will usually show at the rim. When the coin blank is too heavy, the mint will file it down to a proper weight, sometimes leaving marks. These are usually only seen on the Dineros of the mid-1890's, if at all. NGC may take a point off if they are strong.


Mint State Grading:
Computer Hope

This is a diagram I came up with to show the range of possibilities within each grade, using luster and contact as the main determinants of grade. Poor strike or ugly toning may reduce the grade, and exceptional toning may increase it, but generally quality of luster and amount of contact are the main factors.


Note: If a Dinero has an MS 65 reverse (date side) but MS 63 obverse, it will be held to the MS 63 level. NGC generally does not take off points for fingerprints.

Grade Discussion:

MS 68: Same as MS 67 but only a couple very small inconsequential ticks in non-prime focal areas. Must have great eye-appeal.

MS 67: Luster must be full, strong and original. No major contact. Some very minor contact in the fields is allowed. Die lines may be present, and some small amount of die chatter is allowed. Toning, if present, must be at worst neutral, and luster must be full under the toning.

MS 66:

Type 1: Same as the MS 67 above with full luster, but with a bit more scattered contact. This contact should only be in small patches and not distracting.

Type 2: A coin with very good, but not full blazing luster. This coin should have essentially no marks at all in the field to make up for the lack of superb luster.

Note: In my experience, NGC has sometimes been harsh on coins with no or trivial contact and basically full luster. If the luster is not "blazing" they will sometimes still give a "66". Some of these coins are essentially as struck.

MS 65:

All MS 65 coins must have at least good luster. At this level, they are on a continuum from blazing luster with light scattered contact, to good but subdued luster and no contact.

Type 1: Almost the same intense luster as an MS 67, but has light contact scattered around the fields. This contact must be scattered mostly evenly in the fields with no strong hits. Some Dineros are basically as struck, but have a lot of die chatter, which can hold them back to the Gem level sometimes.

Type 2: Mid-way between types 1 and 3. Very good, MS 66 type luster, but enough scattered contact to hold it back one point. Heavy/dark toning can sometimes hold this type back from being a 66.

Type 3: Like the MS 66 type 2, this coins has trivial or no contact, but not quite enough freshness or "pop" with the luster to get to a 66. Luster still must be quite good overall.

MS 64:

Type 1: With strong Gem-y luster and moderate scattered contact, but nothing major. The amount of contact is what holds this coin back from being a 65 or better.

Type 2: Inbetween Types 1 and 3, good but not great luster with evenly scattered contact.

Type 3: With average luster and extremely clean fields. The luster is what holds this coin back from a higher grade.

MS 63:

Type 1: High end Gem quality luster but with moderate contact in most of the fields. Can be a couple of heavy hit areas. Too much contact for MS 64 Type 1.

Type 2: Mid-way between Types 1 and 3. Luster will be good, but not Gem quality, and there will be moderate scattered contact.

Type 3: Essentially no contact, but the luster is below average or may be a bit impaired. Still must be of at least average to above average eye appeal.

MS 62:

Type 1: Gem quality luster, but with a lot of contact, some heavy. Not often seen with Dineros.

Type 2: Average luster with moderately heavy contact.

Type 3: Fair to average and/or impaired luster with moderate contact.

Type 4: Fair and/or impaired luster with minimal to lighter contact. May be unattractively toned or have light hairlines. Sometimes may be attractive with just not enough luster to get to the 63 level.

MS 61: The lowest grade generally possibly for Dineros in mint state. While many MS 61 coins are unattractive, sometimes they are of average eye-appeal.

Type 1: Strong luster with heavy contact all over. This is very unlikely to be seen on Dineros.

Type 2: Average luster with heavy contact and hairlines in prime focal areas. May show signs of light cleaning/handling. May be light scratches. Low to average eye appeal.

Type 3: Poor to fair and/or impaired luster with moderate to medium-heavy contact. May have unattractive toning. May show signs of light cleaning/handling. May have light scratches.

Type 4: Limited contact, but not good enough luster to make it to the 63 level.

MS 60: This grade is no longer used for smaller coins like Dineros. It is generally reserved for larger coins with considerable bag marks across the entire coin. This grade spans a continuum from very high contact with good luster (Type 1) to very high contact with poor luster (Type 2) to lower contact with poor luster (Type 3). Strike may be poor. Light cleaning/handling likely. No wear, however.

A Word About Pricing:

You may notice that my set, while offering some comments on the Standard Catalog (Krause) price points for some coins, has a paucity of pricing data overall for Dineros. This is simply because many dates rarely trade hands in grades above average circulated.

For the most common later dates in NGC holders, general pricing is as follows: MS 63: $20-$30, MS 64: $25-$40, MS 65: $35-$60, MS 66: $50-$75, MS 67: $70-$120. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules here, and these prices vary depending on the eye-appeal of any given coin offered and the venue where it is sold. Raw common mint state Dineros will often sell online for half-off the slabbed pricing, which is true of all decimal Peru series. Part of the reason for this is the risk of buying a coin based on often low-quality photographs.

Further Reading:

My registry set is a one-stop location for all information about the Peruvian Dinero series. It synthesizes knowledge from the sources below and adds my own extensive research. That said, any Peruvian numismatist should add many of the following sources to their library, especially for information on other Peruvian series.

History:

Flatt, Hoarce P. 2000. The Coins of Independent Peru. Volume VI: Decimal Silver coins, 1858-1935. Terrell, Texas. Haja Enterprises.

This is the first book to buy on the Decimal Peru series. Flatt gives historical background with an Appendix discussing varieties. Out of print and now hard to find. Flatt's research is impressive, but he is focusing more on the historical/economic/political background of Peruvian numismatics than on the study of individual dates, as my set does.

Flatt, Hoarce P. 1994. The Coins of Independent Peru. Volume II: 1858-1917. Terrell, Texas. Haja Enterprises.

Similar to the work above, but focused on the history of all decimal coins, including fiduciary and gold. A must have. Copies are easier to find than for Volume VI. For more information on the Dinero antecedants, see Volume I.

Pricing:

Almanzar, Al and Seppa, Dale A. 1972. The Coins of Peru 1822-1972. San Antonio. Almanzar's Coins of the World.

Prices are very out of date. Yet, Almanzar/Seppa priced some dates more accurately than Krause. Cheap copies available.

The Standard Catalog/Krause prices are now free on the NGC World Price Guide: https://www.ngccoin.com/price-guide/world/

Excellent online resource. Thanks NGC!

On Patterns:

Christensen, William B. "Pattern Coinage of Peru." Article in "The Coinage of El Peru" by William L. Bischoff. American Numismatic Society. pp 177-190.

Important article for understanding Peru's patterns.

Flatt, Horace P., "The Flawed Peruvian Proof Coins of 1886." American Journal of Numismatics (1989-) Vol. 2 (1990), pp. 151-165.

Flatt, Hoarce P. 1986. "The First Foreign Coins Struck at the Philadelphia Mint." The Numismatist 99:38-43.

Very good article with primary sources.

On the Cuzco and Areiquipa Dineros:

Yabar Acuna, Francisco. 1996. Las últimas acuñaciones provinciales, 1883-1886 : las casas de moneda de Cuzco y Arequipa después de la Guerra del Pacífico. Lima. Editora Impresor Amarilys eirl.

Spanish only. Almost never available in the United States. English readers can use the Google translate app on their phone or tablet to translate text. You can photograph one page at a time and read the text on your device. Also see Flatt Volume V for Cuzco discussion. See Yabar's book "Monedas Fiduciarias Del Peru 1822 - 2000" for discussion of the 1879 and 1880 10 Centavos.

Set Goals
To assemble the most complete date/assayer set of Peruvian Dineros (and their antecedents by type) in the finest available grades, whilst also providing a detailed study of their history aimed at both the novice and expert.

Slot Name
Origin/Country
Item Description
Full Grade
Owner Comments
Pics
View Coin 1823 Lima JP Royalist Real Ex. Whittier PERU 1659-1826 REAL 1823LIMA JP NGC MS 63 This 1823 Real has history, rarity, premium grade, and pedigree to it's credit.

Though Peru declared Independence from Spain in 1821, royalist striking of coins did occur in 1823 and 1824. The royalists briefly took Lima from the Patriots for one month in June 1823, and it was during this time that they struck this Real (among other denominations).

All Ferdinand VII Reals are scarce in mint state, the 1823 in particular. This is the Whittier specimen, which has been re-holdered sans the Pedigree on the label. The 2006 Heritage description reports: "easily the finest known of this date struck after Lima was recaptured from the insurgents. A choice fully lustrous example with typical striking weakness at the centers."

Though there are two coins reported in MS 63 in the population report, it seems clear that both represent this single coin. CoinFactsWiki gives the details of the Stack's auction from January 2017 where I won it: http://www.coinfactswiki.com/wiki/Peru_1823-L_JP_real

I have not seen another definite mint state 1823 Real, although a nice AU+ is seen on Worthpoint from June 2011. Thus, this is quite possibly the finest known as stated by Heritage, though of course nice specimens of rare dates do surface at times from Peru. The reverse is clean with rolling Gem luster and slight softness at centers. The obverse has full but more muted luster with softness and a couple stray marks on the cheek/jaw area. Very original and very solid for the assigned grade.

It is also tied with one other Real for finest graded for the entire type.

Photographs copyright Stacks/Bowers.
View Coin 1823 1/8 Peso PERU 1822-57 1/8P 1823LIMA PROVISIONAL COINAGE NGC MS 62 BN History: The 1823 1/8 Peso is one of the very first coins of Independent Peru. Small coin was scarce at this time, with much of the current coins and precious medals surreptitiously being traded at the countries ports and shipped overseas. The coins of Chile were briefly approved for circulation in Peru. A motion for striking new debased coins fell through; instead copper 1/4 and 1/8 Pesos were issued to meet the need of small coin (a copper 1/4 Real, the first coin of free Peru was minted the year before). Part of the purpose of these coins was the amortization of the brief issuing of paper money in 1822 (this paper money is now very rare). The government tried to enforce the use of the new copper coins by threat of monetary punishment for those who didn't accept them. In the end, they were too easily counterfeited and this brief experiment was given up.

The 1/8 Peso is the size of a Real, but much thicker. The obverse design on the 1/8 Peso is quite glorious, featuring a resting vicuna with the Andes mountains in the background, a radiant sun, and a pole with cap.

Why do some of the 1/8 Pesos have a "V" near the date? This was a mark used to account for which coins had the copper supplied by one Cayetano de Vidaurre. Vidaurre had been contracting with the Lima mint to provide copper for coinage since 1810.

The 1/8 Peso is usually available in circulated grades. Severe pitting and planchet issues are the norm. Finding a pleasing example takes effort. In mint state they are somewhat scarce. The "V" coins are more difficult, but usually available in circulated grades; they are quite scarce in mint state. Krause gives a value of $45 in XF for the regular type. That's about right. They don't offer further pricing in better grades. In low-end mint state expect to pay $100-$250 depending on the quality of the planchet. Krause values the "V" at 145 in XF. This is too high at that grade level. However, the top graded MS 62 sold for $646.25 at Stack's in November 2013; a strong price.

Flatt and Krause report that the 1/4 and 1/8 Peso were re-struck during festivities celebrating 100 years of Independence in 1921. This may be so. However, none of the coins I've seen on the market look much like restrikes. Most mint state coins are lower-end, with pitting and no mint red. Could these really be restrikes? I doubt it. Yet, Flatt states that most mint state coins are re-strikes. The jury is out.

The PCGS graders have messed up the varieties. I have tried to adjust to the best of my ability below. Please read carefully.

Population for regular type:

One in XF 45 at NGC, one in AU 50 at NGC, one in 53 at NGC, five in 55 at NGC, one at PCGS, one in 58 at NGC, two in MS 62 at NGC, three in MS 63 at NGC, one at PCGS Red-Brown. Sixteen total, six in mint state. All are brown except the one as noted.

Population for with "V":

One in XF 40 at PCGS, one in AU 50 at NGC, one in AU 55 at NGC, one in AU 58 at NGC, one in 61 PCGS, one each in 62 at NGC and PCGS. Seven total, three in mint state. All are brown.

PCGS has labeled all their coins in the pop report as "V". This is incorrect. I have been able to suss out which are which, and have adjusted them above, save for their MS 60. So there is also one MS 60 Brown, unknown variety, not included above.

Francisco Yabar Acuna's book "Monedas Fiduciarias Del Peru" has considerable information on these early copper coins.

Set Specimen:

Dark chocolate with cartwheel luster. Unusually well struck and centered for the type with minimal pitting reserved to a small patch on the reverse. Tied with one, four better in MS 63 for non-"V" type. The set gets one copper coin!
View Coin 1830 Lima JM Real Ex. Lissner/Moore PERU 1822-57 REAL 1830LIMA JM D. Moore Collection NGC MS 65 This coin represents the Real type of 1826-1840, the first Reals of Independent Peru. It is the lone top graded example for the entire type. It sold in the Lissner auction in 2014, and was reholdered with the Moore pedigree in 2017. Very few early Reals of any date have graded in mint state at either PCGS or NGC. Reals had a value of 12 1/2 Cents in the United States until 1857.

A fabulously preserved specimen with essentially no contact and impeccable strike. The obverse is slate grey with boldly gleaming surfaces. The reverse adds a bit of color to the mix. This is the plate coin for the NGC price guide. A favorite coin of all that I own. In the original Lissner holder it was given a gold WINGS sticker denoting high-end preservation for the assigned grade. The "3" in the date is re-punched, possibly over a "2". All early Reals are difficult in high grades.

Photographs copyright Numismatic Guarantee Corporation.
View Coin 1855 Lima MB Real Ex Lissner/Moore PERU 1822-57 REAL 1855LIMA MB D. Moore Collection NGC MS 65 This example represents the 1841-1856 type of Real. To the reverse lettering was added: "10D.20G," giving the fineness of the silver. The Spanish system of measurement was recorded in dineros and granos (grains). One dinero of pure silver was 24 granos. 10 dineros, 20 granos is .903 silver, or just slightly more than the 90 percent silver coins circulating in the United States. The fineness was added in 1841 to aid in identifying these "good" silver coins as compared to the then circulating moneda feble. The feble continued to circulate, however, and many of these "good" coins were driven from the country as per Gresham's law that "the good money drives out the bad".

All of this type of Real are scarce in mint state, although finding an uncirculated Real of this type, while difficult, is less of a challenge than to find a nice example of the earlier type. This coin is the single finest graded for the entire later type. Like the 1830 Real in my set, it was sold in the Lissner sale in 2014, and re-holdered as part of the Moore sale in 2017. These two coins are the finest two Reals graded at PCGS/NGC.

Full rolling luster and clean fields define the grade given, with attractive original brown-grey toning. The strike is solid, if a touch soft. The striking became very crude at the Lima mint in the 1850's, prior to the arrival of engraver Robert Britten and the steam press from England. This example, though a touch crude, is as nice as Reals of the era come. It is also the plate coin at NGC. The previous holder featured a gold WINGS sticker, denoting high-end quality for the assigned grade.

Photographs copyright Numismatic Guarantee Corporation.
View Coin 1855 10 Centimos PERU - DECIMAL 10C 1855 MB SILVER PATTERN PHILADELPHIA MINT PCGS PF 63 The 1855 10 Centimos is exceedingly rare and of extreme numismatic importance. It was struck at the United States mint along with other denominations as a preparatory step towards a new decimal coinage. It features the same design as the then current "Pesos of Castilla". These were struck at the US mint in Philadelphia, likely engraved by James Longacre, the engraver famous for the Indian Head Cent and many other classic US coins designs. The 1855 patterns are considered the first coins struck by a US mint for a foreign government.

The mintage of the 1855 pattern proofs is a matter of some speculation. Certainly more copper Centimos and 1/2 Centimos were minted than the silver denominations. No more than 5 or 6 10 Centimos were likely prepared.

It is curious that the punches used in the lettering were so primitive compared to normal US mint letter punches. They match the punches used on the 1855 "Morgan and Orr" Peru medal; Morgan and Orr being the suppliers of the mint's machinery, also located in Philadelphia. Though there is correspondence showing that the US mint agreed to strike these coins for Peru, I posit that there is a possibility that Morgan and Orr struck the coins themselves, given the letter punches on the medal and coins match, though I have no other proof. More research is needed.

I have not seen any records of a 10 Centimos at auction (nor 1/2 Centimo). My specimen is the only example I have seen offered by a dealer. It is the second finest, with only one other graded: an NGC Proof 64 that is part of a set. A third example is locked in the American Numismatic Society collection; their only 1855 pattern of any denomination. A fourth is likely in the Smithsonian collection, though I do not have confirmation of this. As speculation, a fifth may be in a museum in Peru. The chances of seeing this coin offered in even a twenty year period is low.

PCGS calls these "Special Presentation" strikings, while NGC assigns them "Proof" designation. I think the later is likely more accurate. This SP 63 example has minimal contact, with light die lights. Golden-yellow toning appears across both sides when held towards the light. Far and away the most historically important and rare coin in my set.

Photographs copyright PCGS.
1859 YB Real PERU - DECIMAL REAL 1859 YB I have a nice mint state 1859 I will be submitting shortly to NGC. Should grade 62/63.

1859 is the first year of the Real, a transitional type that lived a short existence of three years. Although it has the namesake of the older Reals, the transitionals are really Dineros in all but name. The Reals of 1826-1856 were valued at 12 1/2 Cents, thicker in diameter than Dineros, and quite thin at the edge. The Real, like the forthcoming Dinero, was valued at 10 Cents, and both coins are of the same size and weight. The seated liberty design of Robert Britten on the Real continued with the Dinero with some tweaking. In my view, the Reals had the more pleasing artistry.

The 1859 Real rarely comes up for auction in any grade. No one takes notice when it does, because most collectors are satisfied with an 1860 Real for the type. Underappreciated, along with the (even more rare) 1861 Real. Currently, two are graded at NGC, one in AU 58 and one in MS 63.

View Coin 1860 YB Real PERU - DECIMAL REAL 1860 YB NGC MS 66 The 1860 Real is part of the short three year series known as "transitionals". This coin was the precursor of the Dinero and shared largely of the same design.

The Real of 1860 is more difficult in all grades compared to the more common 1860 1/2 Real. Available in circulated grades, the 1860 is more challenging in mint state, and rare in Gem or better. Compared to the 1859 and 1861 Real, however, this is the common date of the three. There are many minor die varieties for this date.

The set specimen is the second finest graded, with only the Lissner example grading finer at MS 67. This coin appears to have poppier luster than the Lissner coin and is very high end for the grade, featuring booming luster and a near total lack of contact; essentially as struck. It is also the NGC price guide plate coin. Re-punching is seen one the date and many letters.

No 1860's have been graded at PCGS. NGC has one in 61, two in 62, three in 63, three in 64, and one each in 65, 66, and 67 for a total of 13 mint state coins. Add one graded 1859 Real in 63, and there are 14 total mint state coins for the type. Nice MS 63/64 examples, though showing up infrequently, often bring fairly modest prices, and are a recommended buy.

Photographs copyright Numismatic Guarantee Corporation.
1861 YB Real PERU - DECIMAL REAL 1861 YB The 1861 Real is a distinct type compared to the 1859 and 1860 Reals (though not recognized as such in Krause). There are fewer palm leaves on the reverse, two of which are bent downwards, and there are more berries in the laurel branch.

1861 Reals are rare in any grade. I have seen only two in higher grades. One was part of large lot that sold at auction around 2014/15. It appeared to be fully mint state in the photo. The other is photographed on the CoinWiki page; a nice AU/UNC. None have been graded at PCGS/NGC.
View Coin 1863 YB PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1863 YB NGC MS 65 1863 is the first year of the Dinero series proper. Compared to coins of the coming years (even 1864), the 1863's were well made, featuring crisp strikes, bold rims, and careful letter/numeral punchings, Some nice examples were tucked away, though nowhere near the amount of 1863 1/2 Dineros saved. Searching for a pleasing choice example will still take some diligence. This date would make a superior type coin for the early series.

Flatt notes these come with large or small superscript o's; a rotated die is known with the small o. Flatt also reports (though he didn't own) an example with no dot between YB, and one with only one dot after REPUB (I have also not seen these). The 1972 Almanzar/Seppa price guide lists a normal and "crude die" for this date, with a very high valuation for the crude die. I have not seen a coin that would qualify as "crude".

Tied with one other Gem at NGC and one at PCGS. One better in 66 at NGC. NGC used to have a 67 in their records, but this coin has been removed. At lower grades, NGC has one in 62, one in 63, and three in 64. PCGS has two in 64. All PCGS coins are mistakenly listed under "South Peru".

The set specimen is a gorgeous original Gem featuring a very crisp strike, clean fields, and attractive mottled toning over splendid luster. One of those coins you can stare into for 20 minutes straight, slowly rotating it in the light.

View Coin 1863 YB PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1863 YB PCGS MS 64 A duplicate 1863. I enjoy the look of this date, and this coin is very attractive for the grade. Tied with four others at PCGS/NGC, with four better. See the previous 1863 for full discussion of this date.

This example is choice for the grade, featuring argent tone, clean bright fields, and a crisp strike; the only minor distraction being a small spot on "Y" of YB. Otherwise, near Gem. A very pleasing example.

Photographs copyright PCGS.
View Coin 1864 YB PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1864 YB NGC MS 63 The 1864 Dinero is widely available in circulated grades. In true mint state it is scarce, and rare in Gem. Varieties abound. Flatt lists eleven different die varieties for the date, and I've added almost as many more. An interesting and affordable set could be made of varieties in circulated grades. The work of punching letters and numerals onto hubs became sloppy in just the Dinero's second yet. Many dies were used past their lifespan creating examples with die cracks.

Varieties as given by Flatt:

1. 1864/3 REPUB: large "O" in DINO (I have seen)
2. 1864/3 REPUB: small "O" in DINO (I have seen)
3. REPUB: large "O" in DINO (Also D:FINO) (I have seen)
4. REPUB: large "O" in DINO, very long bar beneath "O" (I have not seen)
5. REPUB: large "O" in DINO, YB (note no period), Low "4" (I have not seen)
6. REPUB: large "O" in DINO, Y. B (note period, I'm not sure if Flatt is saying the initials are wide or not), Low "4" (I have not seen)
7. REPUB: large "O" in DINO, 1864/4, higher "4" over lower "4" (I have not seen as a REPUB:)
8. REPUB: large "O" in DINO, Roman 1 in date (I have not seen as REPUB:)
9. REPUB: "O" that looks like a "6" in DINO, Roman 1 in date (I have not seen as a REPUB: or Roman 1)
10. REPUB. small "O" in DINO (I have seen this with a low "8", high and wide "4")
11. REPUB. large "O" in DINO (I have seen)

Found by me:

12. REPUB. large "O", in DINO, 1864/4, higher "4" over lower "4"
13. REPUB. large "O/O" in DINO, 1864/4, higher "4" over lower "4"
14. REPUB. "O" that looks like "6" in DINO, normal "1" in date
15. REPUB. large "O/O" in DINO, Roman 1 in date, "4" very high, "64" close
16. REPUB. large "O" in DINO, 6/6 die cracks through date, "4" wide, "1" used as an "I" in DINO
17. REPUB. small "O" in DINO, 6/6 die cracks through date, "4" wide, normal "1" in DINO
18. REPUB. large "O/O" in DINO
19. REPUB. large tilted "4" in date, perhaps from the 1/5 Sol Punch

Yikes! Nineteen varieties and their may be more!

Attempting a summary, the reverse varieties are as follows:

REPUB: 1864/3, YB no period with low "4", Y.B low "4", 1864/4, Roman I in date
REPUB. 1864/4, Roman I in date with "4" very high and "64" close, 6/6 in date "4" wide, tilted "4"

Check to see if your coin is REPUB: or REPUB. and then check to see which reverse variety it is (or if none are present). Then see the listing above to pair it with an obverse variety.

Krause only lists the 1864 regular date and 1864/3. It gives a value of $25 for the 1864 in MS 60, which is low. It gives an even lower value of $17 for the overdate, which is absurd, as it's very scarce. It would seem REPUB. coins are a bit more common than REPUB: coins.

Three in MS 63 at NGC, one in 65 at NGC, one in 66 at PCGS. Give total graded in mint state, two in Gem or better.

The set specimen is tied for third with two others in MS 63 at NGC. Two better, one in 65 at NGC, one in 66 at PCGS. This example is variety #12, REPUB. with a re-punched "4'. Really superb old cabinet toning with clean fields, the revere in particular is exceptional for the grade.
View Coin 1865 YB PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1865 YB NGC AU 58 The 1865 Dinero is difficult to find in any grade, and may not exist in true mint state. The example in the famed Whittier collection was circulated, which should attest to the difficulty of this date. A nice circulated specimen may appear only a couple times a year or less.

In mint state, the 1865 is perhaps the most difficult early Dinero, even more difficult than the 1872. In circulated grades it is comparable to the scarcity of the 1870. It must be remembered that there may be mint state 1865's hidden away in Peru, however.

Flatt reports varieties: 1865, 6/5, and an 1865 with a Roman 1. SCWC reports an 1865/3. In theory, the 1865. 6/5 would have the reverse of a Real, not Dinero. I'm skeptical. The 1865/3 absolutely exists. My specimen has a Roman 1 in the date. There is no premium for any variety.

I am proud to own the finest graded 1865 Dinero in AU 58. An 1865/3 has also been graded in AU 50 (I know this to be the Whittier coin, which Heritage called XF). Although my coin has moderately heavy toning, the subtle coloration is very attractive; iridescent cobalt, rose, and red tone play on the surface. The 1 in 1865 is a Roman 1, which I have seen on one other coin. It is possible that all regular date 1865's have a Roman I. More research is needed.
View Coin 1866 YB PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1866 YB NGC MS 64 The 1866 is the most available of the early Dineros in better grades, along with the 1875. This isn't to say that nice Uncirculated examples are very common, however. Not many mint state examples have been graded, although the (overly) low book value for this date may turn some people against the grading fee. In circulated grades the 1866 Dinero is the most common early date, and one of the most common dates of all Dineros; many examples are always on the market. Nice XF/AU examples can be found for a very reasonable cost. Myriad dies were used this year, but the main varieties are fairly simple to organize.

Flatt reports the following:

1. Y. B small "O" in DINO (I have seen with "straight" and inclined 66)
2. Y. B large "O" in DINO, small bar beneath (I have seen with "straight" 66)
3. Y. B large "O" in DINO, long bar beneath (I have seen with "straight" 66 and a misshapen "O")
4. Y. B inclined 6's, small "O" in DINO
5. Y. B inclined 6's, large "O" in DINO (I have seen many with a larger second 6)
6. Y.B Low N/N in Peruana (I have not seen)
7. Y.B Filled "O" in DINO (I have seen with a "straight" 6, small "O", often with a patch of reflective luster around "1" in date and one with final 6 wide)
8. Y.B Wide 6 in date, distinct forelegs (I have seen many, but not sure about distinct forelegs, there are variations in the shape of the final 6)
9. Y.B Roman "1" in date, small "O" in DINO (I have not seen)

Krause adds:

10. 1866/5

I am not sure this is actually an 1866/5 rather than an 1866 with the final 6 re-punched. Die cracks often seen through the date.

Additionally I have found:

11. Filled O/O in DINO. 66 inclined. Often weakly struck letters and die cracks in date.
12. Small O/O in DINO with inclined 66.
13. First 6 re-punched and tilted to right. Large "O" with long bar.
14. Re-punched 8 and slightly re-punched first 6.

Discussion: At the end of the day, most of these varieties are minor, and many of the above are not mutually exclusive. I am not attempting a complete "Overton" type listing by individual die, as there are likely 20+ dies per side employed in this year. Quantifying the size of the "O" in DINO is non-scientific, as many different size punched were used. I have also seen thin and thick "1's" in the date used. Almanzar/Seppa mention a "crude die". I'm not sure which if any of the varieties above they are referring to.

A short set to show basic varieties could be as follows:

1. 1866/5 (or repunched final 6)
2. Re-punched first 6
3. "66" straight
4. "66" inclined
5. Roman "1" (I have not seen)
6. Wide last six

One in AU 55 at NGC (1866/5), MS 62 at NGC, one in 63 at NGC, two in 64 at NGC and one at PCGS, one in 65 at NGC. Seven total graded, six in mint state, one in Gem.

The set specimen is tied with two others for second finest, one higher. The fields are clean and highly lustrous. A blast white coin. #7 above with filled "O" and a patch of reflective luster around the "1" in the date.
View Coin 1866 YB PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1866 YB PCGS MS 64 A second 1866 Dinero in MS 64. My previous 1866 Dinero is variety #7; this is #11 with a filled "O/O" and inclined date. Please see the previous coin for a full discussion of this year. A lovely coin with original battleship grey toning on both sides with enclaves of color near the rim on the reverse with impeccable fields. Tied with two others for second finest, one better.
1870 YJ PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1870 YJ The 1870 Dinero comes with a host of reported varieties, but try not to be daunted. Most coins fall within two main varieties, see my summary below. The 1870 is only somewhat scarce in circulated grades. If condition is no concern, finding an example is simple. These were not saved in mint state, however, and finding a nice Uncirculated 1870 is very difficult.

This was the first year of the assayer initials "YJ" on the Dinero. The "J" stands for Jose Agustin Figueroa. He replaced Bernardo Aguilar (The B in YB). Figeuroa served until 1907.

Flatt reports the following varieties:

1. 1870 YJ - He notes that the dies may simply be too worn to show the J/B.
2. 1870 YB - Flatt did not own this coin, and it may not exist. I have not examined the original source reporting this coin.
3. 1870 YJ J/B
4. 1870 YJ J/B F/E in FELIZ
5. 1870 YJ/YB
6. 1870 7/6 J/B period over period between initials
7. 1870 7/6 YJ/YB low 0 in date
8. Same as (7) but with a period over period between initials.

Krause reports:

1. 1870 YJ (same as Flatt)
2. 1870 YJ/B (same as Flatt)
3. 1870/60 YJ - Flatt does not list this overdate without over-lettering
4. 1870-60 YJ/YB (same as Flatt, except that Flatt correctly calls it 7/6, not 70/60)
5. 1870/69 YJ/YB - This is nonsense.

I have found that the "70" in the date may be re-punched 70/70 while also a 7/6. I have also seen one coin with "18" higher than "70". Every 1870 I have seen has a 7/6. Most of the time the "6" is bold, occasionally it is weak. Every coin I have seen also has a "J/B". When the Y is over a Y, it is obvious, with the under "Y" jutting out below.

Flatt states in Volume II of "The Coins of Independent Peru" that "no one dinero coins of 1870 are known in which there is just simply the initials YJ rather than Y J/B".

So, the main two varieties as I have seen them are:

1. 1870 7/6 J/B (may have re-punched "70)
2. 1870 7/6 YJ/YB (often with period over period)

While there may be other varieties as listed above, it would appear that all coins are at minimum J/B, and most all have the 7/6. A 70/60 or 70/69 as listed in Krause are unlikely to exist, as no Dineros were made in 1860 or 1869. My associate does claim to have two no 7/6 1870 Dineros. I will report back with more information after I am able to examine them myself.

Values in the catalog are a mess. In MS 60 they assign $17 to the YJ/B and nonsensical 1870/69 YJ/YB. $20 goes to the plain date that likely doesn't exist. And $47 for the 1870/60 YJ and $52 for the 1870/60 YJ/YB are given. The later variety is the most common, yet has the highest price. That said, the lower prices are too low for this coin, and $52 in MS 60 would be more appropriate.

All graded are at NGC. On in MS 61 (1870/60 YJ/YB), four in MS 63 (one regular, one 1870/60 YJ/YB, one YJ/YB). Five total in mint state.
View Coin 1872/62 YJ/B PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1872/62 YJ/B NGC MS 64 The 1872 Dinero is rare in all grades. Mid-grade examples do surface on great occasion, though. I know of a collector who has put together a small hoard of approximately 10 coins of this date. In mint state it is extremely rare. I only know of three mint state coins: mine in MS 64 and the Whittier MS 65. The third is a raw coin that sold in an Italian Auction Firm's lot in November 2017. It would appear that this coin is a Gem, perhaps even MS 66, but no close-up photo or photo of the reverse is given (see further discussion below). I have also seen a raw AU/UNC in Peru. 1872 Dineros were struck on a single day, June 13th. 2,000 Soles worth were struck, or 20,000 pieces. This did not go far to providing the country with a circulating medium.

According to Flatt, and my experience, all examples have the overdate 7/6 and YJ/B, even though some NGC holders omit those details. Krause shows escalating values for the over-lettering, and over-lettering plus overdate, but this is unnecessary. The overdate may be very difficult to see on circulated examples, however. The "6" is very faint, even on mint state examples. The description 1872/62 is not correct, as the "2" is not over a "2", nor can it be since Dineros were first minted in 1863. The correct description is 1872 7/6 YJ/B. All genuine coins have a dramatic F/P in FINO.

Pricing is difficult, as auction history is limited. I have an associate who tells me my MS 64 would be worth $1000 to collectors in Peru. I'm not sure if that healthy of a market exists yet for Dineros in the United States. The Whittier MS 65 coin sold for $373.75 in 2006. Most all prices for Latin American coins have doubled since that auction, especially rarities, so in today's money that would be at least $750. The 1872 Dinero auctioned by an Italian firm mentioned in the opening paragraph sold with nine other coins for 600 Euros. The rest of the coins were low value, so one can surmise that this Dinero brought about 650 dollars. With high quality photos of the obverse and reverse, this coin could have made it to four figures. I did not bid because I did not see it laying around in a group of mostly low value coins!

One graded in VF (YJ/B), one in XF 45, one in MS 64 (1872/62 YJ/B), and one in MS 65 (1872 YJ/B). All at NGC. I briefly owned the XF 45 and can attest it was an 1872 7/6 YJ/B.

The set specimen, likely the second finest known for all 1872 Dineros, features completely mark free fields and a strong strike. Both sides are bathed in rich sepia old cabinet toning. Someone obviously took great care of this coin over the years. The grade limiting factor is subdued luster under the toning, which is more pronounced on the obverse than the reverse. The overall presentation is nearly that of a matte proof. Very lovely, and very rare. I know the location of the MS 65 1872, and it has been removed from it's holder, leaving my coin as the current finest in a third party holder.

View Coin 1874 YJ PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1874 YJ NGC MS 65 The 1874 is an available date in circulated grades, but infrequently available in mint state. Only five mint state coins have been graded. Overall more scarce than the 1875 Dinero, especially in mint state. There are three main varieties, see below.

Flatt notes that 1874's have either a bar beneath the "O" in "DINO", others a dot. The bar is the old style die; the dot, the new style seen in coming years. Flatt notes that coins with the bar may come with normal or high 7. Some "bar" coins come with DI/DI in "DINO" and with a Roman or normal "1" in the date. A collection in Lima he had not seen in hand also reported three other varieties: a rotated die, a low 7, and P/P inverted in PERUANA, but it's not clear if these varieties are for the bar or dot coins of 1874.

Discussion: There are essentially three main varieties, unless one wants to attempt an inventory by individual die: Bar, Bar with Roman 1, and Dot. I have only seen two 1874 Dineros with a dot. They may be very scarce. With dot coins have a thick low "7" in the date. I have also seen two coins with a Roman 1. The "1" is very high. On one of the Roman 1 coins the date, YJ, and other lettering are re-cut.

I have also noted an obverse die that comes with the lower portion of the "O" in DINO missing the bottom of the circle. I have seen this die paired with both a Roman 1 and normal 1 reverse.

One in XF 45 at PCGS, one in AU 55 at PCGS, one in MS 61 at NGC, one in 64 at PCGS, two in 65 at NGC, one in 66 at PCGS. Five in mint state, three in Gem or better. $20 in 60.

Though the set specimen features a soft obverse strike, the glowing burnt-orange hues over full luster make up for any points lost. A very attractive, special coin in the light. One of my favorites in the set. Tied for second place with one other, one better.
View Coin 1875 YJ PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1875 YJ NGC MS 64 The 1875 Dinero is a common date, and the most traceable early Dinero in mint state; the 1863 and 1866 Dineros being the next most available in mint state. While the 1875 Dinero is very common in circulated grades, the 1866 takes the crown as most common early date Dinero overall. Most 1874's were made with a bar under the "O" in "DINO"; late in the year the bar was changed to a dot. This dot is continued on the 1875 and 1877 Dineros.

Both Flatt and Krause give list no varieties. This is surprising, as the 1875 1/5 Sol comes in a myriad of die states. I have found there to be numerous minor differences in the placement of the date. Some of these are: High "18", Low "8", normal "5", and "5" tilted up to the right, et al. Some dates also have re-cutting.

One in AU 58 at NGC, two in MS 61 at NGC, six in 63 at NGC, two in 64 at NGC, one each in 65 at NGC/PCGS, one in 66 at NGC, two in 66 and one in 66+ at PCGS. Sixteen total graded in mint state. Six in Gem or better. The PCGS 66+ is the highest graded early Dinero. Only five early Dineros have graded MS 66 or 66+, four of which are 1875's.

The set specimen features lovely argent rolling original luster and minimal marks. Six better.

1877 YJ PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1877 YJ "FEILZ" I have both an Uncirculated 1877 and 1877 FEILZ I will be sending to NGC in the next batch.

The 1877 Dinero is an intriguing date. Many die varieties are known, as well as a dramatic error (see below). The coin is somewhat scarce in all grades, but can be found on occasion in grades through MS 62. In grades of MS 64 or better, it is rare. This coin is the last regular decimal coin of the 1870's before the War of the Pacific, and the dies were very worn. Striking weakness is a norm on these dates, especially on the reverses. I have seen only one example with Proof-like luster.

Flatt reports the following varieties (with my comments):

1. 1877 Y.J - He notes he has not actually seen a Y.J coin, but believes they likely exist. (I have also not seen one, and think it more likely that they don't exist.)
2. 1877 Y.J. (Perhaps only one in seven coins are this variety. Very scarce.)
2a. Period centered between REPUB and PERUANA (The one example I have seen has a low "77".)
2b. Period closer to B (The one example i have seen has a high "77")
3. 1877 Y J. - High "77", filed "O" in DINO (Three and Four are the common variety. Placement of "high 77" varies.)
4. Same as number 3, instead of filled "O", extensive doubling on the reverse including the date but not J/J
4a. Period below "O" in DINO
4b. Period to the right of "O"
4c. Period to the left of "O"
He noted that variety 4 comes with difference in placement of the dot between REPUB and PERUANA.

Surprisingly, Flatt did not mention the most interesting and dramatic variety (in fact an error), the FEILZ error, which Krause does list.

Krause reports: 1877 Y.J. ($52), YJ with no dots at all ($37; not mentioned by Flatt, nor seen by me), and the error "FEILZ" ($62).

I have viewed four FEILZ error coins. The mint worker transposed the "I" and "L" by mistake. On all coins I have seen, they are YJ. with a high "77" and a strong J/J in YJ.(.) The "L" and "Z" in FEILZ touch. I consider this error to be very scarce, but not rare.

Krause would be advised to change to 1877 YJ., 1877 Y.J. and 1877 YJ. FEILZ for the main three varieties.

Only three coins graded, all at NGC: One in MS 62 and two in MS 65. I have seen a few raw mint state coins, so chances are the population reports will expand a bit for this date in the future. However, because most of the mint state coins are low-end, collectors may be hesitant to submit them.
View Coin 1879 10 Centavos PERU - DECIMAL 10C 1879 PCGS MS 67 The 1879 10 Centavos is a provisional coin made of copper-nickel (the same proportion of metal as used in United States Shield Nickels of the era, and very close to the same diameter) issued to help retire the fractional paper money, which was in this year the main form of public currency. These 10 Centavos were made both in 1879 and 1880, as were 5 Centavo pieces. The scarce 20 Centavos was made only in 1879 (see discussion of this coin in my set "Quintos - 1/5 Sols of Peru"). The 1879, like the 1880, is very common. Millions were minted in Brussels. They are always available, in grades from VF up through near Gem. While the graded population is low, this is mainly due to the low value of the coin, precluding collectors from sending theirs in to the grading services. Please see my discussion on the front page about the supposed 1880 Proof 10 Centavos.

One in MS 62 at NGC, three in 64 at NGC, one in 64 at PCGS, one in 66 at NGC, one in 66 at PCGS, one in 67 at PCGS. Eight total graded, three in Gem or better.

Krause prices the 1879 at $10 and the 1880 at $5 in MS 60. These prices are reasonable, however, they should both be around the same level. I would say $10, or even $12.50 each. Despite the 1880 having a much larger graded population, I do not find the 1879 10 Centavos to be much more difficult in mint state. Dealers often mark up graded examples considerably.

Set Specimen: Immaculate surfaces with some light die lines on the reverse. The luster tends more towards prooflike than cartwheel. The lone finest graded. Top graded for entire type.

Photographs copyright PCGS.
View Coin 1886 JM Cuzco PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1886 JM NGC MS 62 The 1886 JM Cuzco Dinero is a single year type coin; the only year a Dinero was minted in Cuzco.

There was a great shortage of small change in Peru in the 1880's after the War of the Pacific. Tokens in North Peru, and "astilladas" (larger coins cut into smaller sections) in South Peru were employed in commerce to meet the needs of daily commerce. The brief coinage at Cuzco and Arequipa in 1885-1886 was an attempt to bring forth more small coin to replace the astilladas. But the minting presses were in disrepair and the coins were of low quality. They were not widely accepted by the population, and did not make a dent in replacing the astilladas. These Dineros did circulate, however, as most are found in lower grades. It is reported that most Cuzco Dineros are light in weight.

The design details are similar, but more crudely done, compared to the Lima Dineros. Because the design is flat and wears down quickly, most examples that exist are found in lower grades, often cleaned. Uncirculated examples are truly rare. The comprehensive Whittier collection only boasted a cleaned AU, and the Lissner example an AU 55. Auction catalogs have reported these as "rare in any grade". This is not so. In grades of VF or lower, the 1886 Cuzco Dinero is available. In uncleaned XF, it becomes difficult. In AU or better it is rare. Only three mint state examples are known to me. They are the three graded at NGC; one is a details coin. More do likely exist in Peru collections.

Three in VF, one in AU 55, and two in MS 62, all at NGC. There is also one VF Details. And one UNC Details (graded at the same time as one of the MS 62's). There are also two AU 50 Details/Cleaned at ANACS.

Varieties for this coin can be confusing. I will try to make some sense of them:

Flatt lists a four varieties based on the "1" in the date:
1. Normal "1"
2. "1" upside down,
3. "1" over upside-down "1" that also doesn't show the engravers initials "TB" to the left of Liberty's shield.
4. Roman "1", die rotations known.

The normal "1" should have both serifs at the bottoms, and one at the top going left. The upside down "1" is not quite what is sounds like. It has both serifs at top, but only one at left at the bottom. So it is a "reversed" upside down "1". The roman "1" has both serifs at top and bottom, and the 1/1 is fairly obvious. All this said, these four varieties are not hard and fast rules. Some "1's" are kind of blobby or have weak serifs, thus making the variety hard to distinguish.

These also come without or without initials to the left of the shield on the obverse. There has been confusion as to what exactly these initials are. Yabar Acuna has determined that the initials are "FB" and stand for one Felix Bragagnini Gai. Flatt accepts the research, but also feels that some of the initials say "TB". Krause reports only an "FB".

My personal opinion is that they all appear to be "TB". While most all examples lack the left serif of a "T", or the bottom serif of a "F", I have seen one example that has both serifs of the "T". I don't think there is a definitive answer to this question, however. What is clear, is that the "with initials" coins are the more common variety. I have seen three no initials coins. One is the 1/1 as Flatt reported. The other two are, as a best guess, upside down "1's". Of the varieties of "1's", it would seem that the 1/1 is perhaps most scarce. The others are hard to judge rarity.

I'm lucky to own one of two Uncirculated 1886 Cuzco Dineros graded in MS 62 at NGC. This example is bright white with extreme die polishing on the obverse over reflective semi-PL fields. Roman "1" with initials to the left of the shield, strong die clashing and a rotated reverse of 25 degrees. Given the condition rarity, and history of this coin, a museum quality piece of Peruvian history.

Photographs copyright Numisor.
1886 Pattern Proof PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1886 LONDON MINT PATTERN SILVER The only Proof Pattern Dinero, struck at the Royal Mint as designed by Leonard C. Wyon. Similar to the future design of 1888, but not exactly. Very rare and desirable; only six minted. See history below.

Peru was struggling to regroup after the War of the Pacific. The Lima Mint was in dire straits; it's equipment deteriorating, some machinery still in use dated to the Colonial era. Chilean looters likely absconded with the old die punches for the minor coins, and skilled engraver Britten had passed in 1882, leaving the mint without anyone capable of preparing acceptable new coin.

With such paltry amounts of new coins exiting the mint, paper money was the circulating medium during this time. The solution for these issues was found in one Leonard C. Wyon, famed engraver since 1851 at the Royal Mint in the UK.

Example coins were sent to Wyon, and a contract was made for new dies, punches, and tools. Wyon considered these patterns as "proof of workmanship" only, stating "it is not usual for proof coins to be of exact standard." His coin dies, to the chagrin of the Peruvian mint, were thus prepared at slightly too large a diameter.

Because these matrices did not conform to the correct standards, the Peruvian government opted not to use them, except in the case of the Soles of 1888-1892, which are slightly larger than the Soles of 1893, when new hubs were engraved.

The Royal Mint was only able to produce 6 sets of pattern coins due to a busy schedule. Christensen reports that nine sets were made, however I am more likely to side with Flatt and Krause, who both report six total sets.

While the obverse of the 1886 Proof appears to be nearly identical to that of the 1888 Dinero, the reverse features are of different workmanship. It is unclear why the reverse was reworked for the coins of 1888, but I find the 1886 reverse to be of more artistic merit.

Two in Proof 65 at NGC, on in Proof 65 Cameo at NGC. Three total.

Krause lists a value of $1250 for Proof 60-63. Given the rarity of this coin, this is much to low. The Whittier coin brought $1207.50 in 2006. Prices have doubled since then for most better Peru, and even more so for rare patterns.

I know of only four examples, the three graded, one of which is the Whittier specimen (Cameo), and one which is photographed as the NGC/Krause price guide plate coin, and a fourth in a Peru museum. A fifth is likely in the possession of the Royal Mint.

Important Sources for the 1886 Proofs:

Christensen, William B. "Pattern Coinage of Peru." Article in "The Coinage of El Peru" by William L. Bischoff. American Numismatic Society. pp 177-190.

Flatt, H.P., "The Flawed Peruvian Proof Coins of 1886." American Journal of Numismatics (1989-) Vol. 2 (1990), pp. 151-165
1888 TF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1888 TF I have a harshly cleaned Good I will be sending to NGC in the next batch.

The matrices used to strike the Pattern Proof Dinero of 1886 were meant to serve in striking general circulation coins. They were the wrong diameter, however, and were not put into service. Finally, in 1888 new matrices were prepared (for the Dinero and 1/5 Sol). The obverse of the 1888 Dinero is identical or nearly identical to the 1886 Pattern. The reverse is not; the shield is much reduced in size, and the flowing branches around it have been restrained. The Pattern reverse was of higher artistic prowess.

The 1888 TF Dinero is the hardest silver Lima mint date/assayer coin to find in any grade for any series of Peruvian coins 1858-1935. The 1892 Dinero likely comes in second place. All Lima mint 1/2 Dineros and 1/2 Sols are traceable in circulated condition, although the 1893 1/2 Dinero is rare. All Lima mint 1/5 Sols are also findable, even the better dates, as are the Sols. The gold 1863 4 Escudos may be more rare. I have not studied the gold Libra series enough to comment on them, but it is unlikely there are any significant rarities.

My census of 1888 Dineros known to me:
1. Flatt Plate coin, grainy photo but appears to be mint state
2. Harshly cleaned Good, owned by me
3. VF/XF reported in collection of Peru collector
4. MS 61ish cleaned/hairlines, in collection of same Peru collector (I have seen)
5. A better mint state coin in the collection of same Peru collector
6. VF/XF probably cleaned, sold on ebay July 2013
7. Lower end mint state in a different Peru collection (I have seen)
8 A Fine owned by an associate who is a Latin American coin collector
9. One more reported in a Peru collection, unknown grade

One graded by NGC in Fine (not clear if it is F 12, or F 15). Krause gives a value of $250 in MS 60 which is too low.
1890 TF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1890 TF I have a nice 1890 TF Dinero in MS 63/64 that I will be sending to NGC in the next batch. (I cracked it out of an ANACS MS 63 holder).

The 1890 Dinero is the only Dinero of the 1888-1892 design that is available with any frequency. And yet, it is still scarce in circulated grades, and very scarce in mint state. It is over-shadowed by it's very common cousin the 1890 1/2 Dinero (the 1890 1/5 Sol is very scarce in circulated grades, and rare in mint state).

Flatt reports a flat-top "1" in the date, and a curved-top "1"with larger numerals. Allow me to re-work and potentially confuse his choices. I find four distinct varieties:

The curved-top "1" comes as:
1. Extremely wide, large and high "0".
2. Less wide, though still somewhat wide, high "0".
1 and 2 are only subtly different.

The flat-top "1" comes as:
1. Wide "9" and wide "0".
2. Date closer and more evenly spaced.

I have added photos of these four for reference.

To summarize, there is a wide and very wide date with curved "1", and a wide and narrow date for the flat-top "1". Re-punching of the date may be seen on any of these.

One in MS 63 at NGC, one in 64 at NGC, one in 65 at PCGS, and one in 66 at NGC.
1891 TF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1891 TF I own an AU 50ish 1891 (flat-top) Dinero that I will be sending to NGC in the next batch.

The 1891 Dinero is a series "sleeper" and very scarce to rare in all grades. There are perhaps a few more survivors of this date than the 1892 Dinero.

Flat lists two varieties: A flat-top "1" in the date, and a curved-top "1" with larger numerals. The price guide lists the 1891 at $44 in MS 60, which is well under-valued.

One has been graded in MS 62 at NGC.

Bar one coin, all examples I have seen have a flat-top "1". The "8" is higher than the first "1".

I own a cleaned VF/XF curved-top "1". The first "1" is much higher than the "8", the "9" is higher than the "8", and the last "1" is higher than the "9". All numerals sans the last "1" have strong re-punching. The numerals are a touch larger on the curved-top "1" coin, but the date is not any wider or narrower.
1892 TF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1892 TF The 1892 Dinero is very rare in all grades, yet this rarity is not reflected in the catalog pricing. To find this date in nice condition is just as, or more difficult, than finding the key dates 1888, 1872, and 1894. This is the last year of the 1888-1892 type.

Flatt reports that these come with a flat-top "1" in the date. There are no coins of this date graded at PCGS/NGC. Krause gives a value of $44 in MS 60. This is extremely undervalued.

I have only seen a few 1892's in any grade. I own a harshly cleaned AU, which has a flat-top "1". The Whittier coin was low-end mint state and also had a flat-top "1", but the placement of the numerals is different. On my coins, the "8" in the date is higher than the "1", whereas on the Whittier coin they are both at about the same level. On both coins the "2" is placed far away from the "9". The Whittier coin appears to have re-punching on all the numerals; mine does not.

I have seen two other 1892's with a flat-top "1", but the date is more compact than either of the previous two coins; the "2" is not wide. The first has a low "8" . The second is a Gem from a Peruvian collection that has a high "8". So, in summary, like the 1892 1/2 Dineros, we could consider the 1892 Dineros to have a "Wide" and "Narrow" date, of which both types have at least two different placements of the numerals. More research is needed.

Summary of varieties found by the author:

1. Wide date, high "8"
2. Wide date, re-punched
3. Narrow date, high "8"
4. Narrow date, low "8"
View Coin 1893 TF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1893 TF NGC MS 64 1893 is the first year of the new design that lasted until 1903. LIBERTAD, which was excuse on the 1888-1892 Dineros is now incuse. "UN DINO" is now in a curved, instead of straight line.

The 1893 Dinero is a rare circumstance where the 1/2 Dinero of the same year is more rare (as is the 1893 1/5 Sol). That said, the 1893 Dinero is a difficult date, but not quite as imposing to find as the price in the catalog would lead one to believe. High grade circulated and mint state examples (usually raw) do pop up now and again. In Gem, though, it is very rare; I have not seen a true Gem. Only five total have been graded as mint state at the major services. 100 dollars for an MS 60 in Krause is a touch high.

No varieties are listed by Flatt or Krause. On some coins the "F" punch was deteriorating. I have seen one example with a re-punched date.

One in AU 58 at NGC, one each in 62 at PCGS/NGC, one in 63 at NGC, and two in 64 at NGC. NGC also has one AU details.

My 1893 is tied with one other in MS 64 for the top spot. It has dark purplish-brown toning which is a touch lighter on the reverse. There is very full rolling luster under the heavy toning on the obverse. A large die crack radiates from the bottom of the shield through the "8" in the date, and a smaller one features at 3 o'clock on the reverse. O/O in DINO. It would be interesting to see this coin dipped, but I prefer original toning.
View Coin 1894/3 TF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1894/3 TF NGC MS 62 1894 is a key date for the Dinero series and is rarely offered. Perhaps equal in rarity to the 1872 overall but less difficult than the 1888. Exceedingly rare in true mint state, and impossible in Gem.

Flatt reports a "plain date" and has a blurry photo of said coin, but did not personally own one. It would seem most of the extant 1894's are overdates. Krause does not list a plain date. The overdate is obvious and easy to see, even without a loupe.

NGC has one in Fine Details, one in AU 58, one in MS 62, and one in MS 63. Given the high catalog value for this coin, yet paltry amount of coins slabbed, it can be concluded that is is a truly difficult date to find in high grades.

Due to the rarity and infrequency of this date being seen on the market, I will note that I paid $375 in a private transaction for this coin. The Whittier example in MS 63 sold for $161 in June 2006 on Heritage. Most coins sold in that sale have doubled or more in price since 2006. The nascent market for certified Peru was not well established at the time. Still, very cheap. I have seen two other raw mint state examples, one that sold on ebay in 2010, the other in a Peru collection.

The set specimen is a sharply struck bright white coin. A couple minor marks define the grade. Only one better in MS 63. I know the whereabouts of the 63, and it has been removed from the holder, leaving just my coin as the only Uncirculated 1894/3 in a holder currently.
View Coin 1895 TF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1895 TF NGC AU 58 1895 is an underrated date in the Dinero series. It rarely surfaces in any grade, and in mint state it may be considered as rare as the more recognized 1872 and 1894. There is one MS 65 graded. Besides that, the only higher grade coins I have seen are my own, an ANACS 58, an AU/UNC in the Whittier sale, and a raw AU/UNC. Of course, there could be more 1895's hiding in Peru collections. 1895's sometimes come with adjustment marks.

Flatt reports a regular date, one with plain assayers' initials and one with notches in the base of the initials. I have only seen one example without notches in hand, but my associate reports he has three such coins. Flatt also notes an 1895/3 but did not own one himself. Krause also lists the 1895/3. I have not seen this overdate personally, however my associate owns two raw overdates in low-end AU (both these coins are no notches). The price for MS 60 in the catalog is low. There is no reason for a 15 dollar price drop for the 1895/3, ignore.

This coin is one of only two straight-graded 1895's at NGC/PCGS. The other is a Gem. There is also an ANACS AU 58 and an AU Details at NGC. My coin is graded by NGC as AU 58, but in reality it is fully mint state. No break in the luster is seen. They likely downgraded for the heavy adjustment marks found at 12 o' clock on the obverse and 6 o' clock on the reverse. Or they got confused by the slight weakness in strike. Fields are clean and lovely original tone coats both sides. Many letters are re-punched including the assayers TF/TF. My grade is MS 63.
1896 F PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1896/5 F I have purchased an 1896 F in mint state and will be sending it to NGC in my next batch.

In this year an effort was made to minimize government spending. "Torrico y Mesa," the "T" in "TF" was replaced by an assistant, leaving only the initial "F" for Juan Figueroa.

The paltry number of 1896 F Dineros graded does not represent their true availability. While the 1896 F is a better date, it is generally findable in circulated grades with some searching. Raw mint state coins are known to appear from time to time, although usually in MS 61-63. 1896 TF is more difficult overall, despite having more coins graded. 1896 F may be more difficult in Gem or better, however. Some 1896 F Dineros have a "textured" surface on the reverse; this is as struck.

Flatt reports an ".F.", an "F.", and an 1896 F with "E" rotated 90 degrees in FIRME. Krause reports a plain date and an 1896/5 (of which the later is the majority of the coins graded), and the rotated "E" variety. They give a price point of $75 for the overdate, and $48.50 for the plain date in MS 60. There is no reason for this price differential, and the lower value is closer to the truth. Krause gives a value of $18 for the rotated "E" variety, which is beyond absurd. This variety is rare. Perhaps they should move the $75 to that column.

It is likely that many or all 1896 F Dineros were created by scrubbing the assayer initial "T" from the dies. This would make sense of the dot sometimes found before the "F". Many coins show remnants of the letter "T", although it often appears as a curved line. More research is needed. The rotated "E" in FIRME variety is quite dramatic and I have only seen one such example thus far. Flatt calls it rare.

Only four graded at NGC/PCGS. One in AU 58 at PCGS (1896/5), one in MS 62 at PCGS, one in 64 at NGC (1896/5) and one in 65 at NGC (1896/5).
View Coin 1896 TF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1896 TF NGC MS 64 The population report may be deceiving for the 1896 TF. With three examples grading MS 67, and three more at MS 65, this may seem like a common Dinero. In reality, the 1896 TF is a quite difficult date to find in any grade, and is much more difficult to find than the 1896 F (which has a smaller graded population). Of course, a few very high end coins were passed down.

One at NGC in 62, one in 63, one in 64, three in 65 (two 1896/5), one in 65 at PCGS (1896/5) three in 67 at PCGS (two are 1896/5). Nine total graded in mint state, six in Gem or better.

Flatt reports no varieties. Krause reports an 1896/5, and a few have been graded as such. The price guide gives a $90 value in MS 60 for the plain date and $45 for the overdate. Insanity! There is no reason for this price differential. I would like to report that the higher number is more accurate, given this coins rarity, but the lower number is closer to market reality. The amusing thing is the Krause gives the higher value to the 1896/5 F, rather than the plain date, the opposite of what they have done for the "TF".

My coin is the lone MS 64, with seven better. A lovely lusterous original coin with subtle tone. Lightly scattered marks determine the grade. The first three numerals of the date are re-punched. An associate has an 1896 TF with the same die cracks on the reverse (thus from the same die) and says he sees "something" under the 6. I don't on my coin.

View Coin 1897 VN PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1897 VN PCGS MS 67 The 1897 VN Dinero is a more difficult date, although sometimes available in circulated grades. Finding a nice mint state example could potentially take years. The 1897 JF Dinero, while scarce, is perhaps a bit more available in mint state, although the graded populations are similar. The letter punches on 1897 VN's are often a bit crude or have pieces of letters missing.

The director of the mint at Lima was able to use mint employees as needed to fulfill an order to re-coin 100,000 melted Soles into small coin. Vicente Novoa was the assistant assayer in 1897 and took over the duties of fulfilling this order.

No varieties are listed in Flatt or Krause. The berries on the reverse of all 1897 VN's are 3-1-3, instead of the previous 3-2-3. Krause values the coin at $18 in MS 60, which is way off. This is a much better date, and it deserves a much higher catalog listing, matching at least the values for the 1896 TF and 1896 F.

One at PCGS in AU 55, one at NGC in AU 58, two in MS 63 at NGC, one in 65 at PCGS, one at NGC in 66, and my coin, a PCGS 67 mistakenly reported as an 1897 JF. Only five graded in mint state. Three in Gem or better.

My example, the lone finest graded, features blazing original mint luster, a deep impression, and multiple die cracks, clashed dies, and re-punching on the date and assayers initials.
1897 JF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1897 JF I have a nice Gem toned Unc 1897 JF that will be sent to NGC in the next batch I send in.

The 1897 JF Dinero is overshadowed by it's cousin the 1897 JF 1/2 Dinero. The later is a hoard coin that is always available in high end mint state. The Dinero is exponentially more scarce. Very few have been graded, although mint state examples do turn up now and again. "JF" stands for the assayer Juan Figueroa. He was the "F" in the previous initials "TF". Now that there was only one assayer, the initials corresponded to his first and last name (see further discussion in the 1896 F Dinero).

No varieties are known for this date/assayer. Berries are 3-2-3.

NGC has one in MS 61, two in MS 63, one in MS 64, and there is one in MS 65 at PCGS. The PCGS MS 67 that is listed is my 1897 VN, which has been misattributed. Only five total graded.
View Coin 1898 JF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1898 JF NGC MS 64 The 1898 Dinero is a moderately scarce date, not often encountered in mint state. Though I have seen a very small group of lower-end Unc's 1898's on a foreign site.

Flatt lists three varieties. One has the 8 high in the date (this could be considered the "normal" date), one has a dramatic D/F in "DINO", and lastly the overdate 1898/7, which Krause also lists. The catalog's value for the 1898 regular date needs to be raised, as it is well below the "common" 20th Century dates at $20. The $48.50 for the 1898/7 is justified, although very few are paying close attention to these overdates. I have seen the D/F in DINO on the Whittier coin and on the small group on a foreign site, so it is not super rare.

Only five mint state coins have been graded at NGC, none at PCGS. Two in 62, one in 64, one in 65, and one in a lofty 67 (1898/7).

The set specimen is a lovely near-Gem and high-end for the grade. Especially pretty orange highlights feature on the reverse. This is the variety with the dramatic D/F in "DINO," which I asked NGC to label, but they did not (likely because it's not listed in the catalog). The first 8 in the date has re-punching. High last "8". Third finest, with two better, one in 65, and one in 67 (1898/7).
View Coin 1900/898 JF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1900/898 JF NGC MS 65 Why do the Dineros of 1900-1903 have so many overdates? The minting of small coin in Lima since 1897 had been done with matrices previously produced. Because of the falling price of silver in 1897, the coining of silver from bullion was suspended, but small coin was still needed in the country, so old matrices were used. With the new century, the numbers 189 changed to 190, thus creating a slew of overdates when the new date was punched over the old. Finally in 1904, the new dies were ready for the Dinero (1901 for the 1/5 Sol, 1907 for 1/2 Dinero). 1900 is a more common date, traceable with some looking in nice mint state. Most examples have an overdate (perhaps all). Some coins come with very crude lettering.

Krause lists myriad overdates: 1900, 1900/89, 1900/890, 1900/897, 1900/898, 1900/90, 1900/98. Flatt adds that some 1900/89 coins have a D/F in DINO (I would surmise these had the obverse dies from 1898). A large or small "O" may be found in "DINO". Flatt reports the berries in the laurel branch as 3-1-2., however they are 3-1-3. My coin has 3-1-4, the fourth berry in the center leaf, and is the only one I have seen with a fourth berry thus far. In my experience, most coins have an 898 or 890 underdate (I have not seen the other underdates listed in Krause, nor did Flatt). The "O" in DINO is usually small. I have not seen the D/F in DINO for 1900 but my associate has at least one example.

Remember that none of these overdates carries a premium, nor is it really possible to determine what the exact overdates are on many coins. Prices in the catalog should be raised to match the "common" dates of the 20th Century.

NGC has 13 1900/898: One in AU 58, one in MS 61, one in 62, two in 63, three in 64, one in 65, two in 66, one in 67, and one in 67+.
1900/890 are as follows: One in 62 at NGC, one in 63 at PCGS, one in 64 at PCGS, one in 65 at NGC.
15 total in Uncirculated. Six in Gem or better.

The set specimen features bright rolling luster on each side, with a bit of reflectivity and subtle tone on the obverse. The 1900/898 overdate is obvious except for the last 0/8, which is indistinct, and may in fact be a 0/0. Most of the contact is die scratches and die lines, as made. Berries are 3-1-4. The fourth berry is in the center leaf. Tied with one in 65 (1900/890); three better.
View Coin 1902/897 JF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1902/897 JF NGC MS 63 The 1902 Dinero is undervalued; one of the harder 20th Century Dineros to find in mint state. Although Uncirculated examples can be found with patience and there are certainly a few nice raw mint state examples that have not been slabbed. I have not seen a Gem coin, raw or certified. No Dineros were struck in 1901. As with the 1900, matrices from the 1890's were used to strike these coins, leading to a plethora of overdates. See the 1900 Dinero discussion for more detail.

Flatt lists a 90/89 and a 902/892. Krause lists a plain date, 1902/1, 1902/891, 1902/892, and 1902/897. The catalog values all the overdates at the "common" 20th Century Dinero price point with a $10.25 price premium for the plain date. All values should be the same, and raised above "common" levels. While all coins should theoretically be overdates, I have seen a couple that may not have an overdate. Most overdates appear to be 1902/892, with a few 1902/897. I have not seen the 1902/1 or 1902/891.

One in MS 61 at NGC, one in MS 62 at NGC, one in MS 63 at NGC (1902/897), two in MS 64 at PCGS (one is 1902/892). Only five total graded, none in Gem or better.

The set specimen is the third-finest graded, with two better at PCGS in MS 64. Choice for the grade, with ample luster. Though graded as a 1902/897, I now believe this is a 1902/892. It's my own fault, as at the time of submission I believed it was a 1902/897 and wrote that on the submission papers.
View Coin 1903/803 JF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1903/803 JF NGC MS 64 1903 is the last year Dineros were struck before the dies were reworked, alleviating the glut of overdates (See the 1900 Dinero for a full discussion). Overall, it's a common date, easily traceable in Uncirculated, although none have been graded in Gem or better. All the nicer raw mint state coins I have seen top out at MS 64. Though the 1903 Dinero is common, it's cousin, the 1903 1/2 Dinero, is much more available.

Flatt lists a 90/89 variety, one with normal REPUB: and one with no colon or dot after REPUB(.) He also lists a 1903/893 with 3 low. Krause adds a normal date, 1903/803, 1903/807, 1903/892, and 1903/92. For whatever reason, the catalog reports a $7.50 price drop for three of the overdates, ignore this. The only coin I've seen without a colon after REPUB is my coin (see discussion below). In theory, all coins should have an overdate, although some well circulated pieces appear to be the "normal date". The "803" and "807" underdates may in reality be "893" and "897" because they were using the hubs for Dineros of 1893 and 1897.

One in AU 58 at NGC, one in MS 61 at NGC, four in 62 at NGC (one 1903/803) and one at PCGS, three in 63 at NGC (one 1903/803) and one at PCGS, seven in 64 at NGC (two 1903/803) and one at PCGS. 18 Total graded in mint state. Plus one AU Details 1903/803 at NGC.

Very strong reflective luster dominates the obverse of the set specimen, with rolling argent luster on the reverse. Lots of die lines and die chatter on the obverse could be confused for bag marks. I believe this to be Flatt's "no dots after REPUB". There are, though, very lightly impressed dots when viewed with a loupe. Excessive die polishing is the likely culprit for removal of the dots. All other 1903's I've seen have a strong colon after REPUB. This may actually be a 1903/893 (see above). Tied for top pop with six others at NGC and one at PCGS in 64. Tied with one other at NGC for top 1903/803 overdate.
View Coin 1904 JF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1904 JF NGC MS 64 1904 is the first year for the newly engraved Dinero hubs used through 1916, and subtle changes may be seen compared to the 1893-1903 type. The lettering and numerals are now thinner, the design elements of the reverse shield show slight differences, the wreath above the shield has a different texture, all elements are crisper, and berries are now 3-2-3. The catalog does not recognize 1904-1916 as a separate type. And although the reworking of the design was minor, it does have a fairly obvious, more "crisp" look about it. Prooflike reverses with heavy die lines for this date and following are common. The changes in the 1/5 Sol three years earlier in 1901 were a bit more pronounced; the newer 1/5 Sols having a "looser" font for LIBERTAD. The LIBERTAD on the Dineros was mostly unchanged in 1904.

The 1904 is a sleeper in the later date Dinero series. Finding an example in any better grade can present a challenge, despite being priced at "common" levels in the catalog. It may be just as scarce as the 1902 in mint state. Gems are rare.

No varieties are given by Flatt or Krause. Berries are now 3-2-3.

One in AU 55 at NGC, one in MS 62 at NGC, two in MS 63 at PCGS, two in MS 64 at NGC, and one in MS 65 at NGC. One six coins in mint state at both major services for this supposedly "common date".

The set specimen is tied for second place with one other coin; one better in 65. A bright white coin, the reverse features a bit of reflectivity along with die lines so often seen on the later dates.

View Coin 1905/1 JF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1905/1 JF NGC MS 67 'The 1905 Dinero is a hoard coin. And oh boy what a great hoard coin it is! The sole hoard coin of the Dinero series often comes extremely nice: high grade with mirrored PL fields and frosted devices. These are showy coins.

The hoard in question is a lot of 200+/- 1905's distributed by a dealer in Indiana. Previous to this hoards appearance, it was not known to be an exceedingly common date. Some of this hoard were sold off piecemeal on ebay, while the remains went to another seller. This seller has slabbed 10 coins and is likely to slab more in the future. So look out...the already large number of graded coins may grow further. All of the coins in the hoard are beautiful proof-like pieces as described above. All have a re-punched first "1" in the date. Grades seem to vary from MS 63 to MS 67. Some have more or less die lines or amount of reflectivity on the reverse.

Flatt reports a close and wide 5, and a 1905/3 with close 5. Krause adds a 1905/1. Almost all 1905's come with a re-punched first "1" in the date. I'm not sure if this is what NGC/Krause means when they say 1905/1, but that designation should be reserved for a "5" punched over a "1". Indeed, there was no 1901 Dinero, so it would be extremely unlikely for a 1905/1 to exist. Thus, all graded 1905/1's and 1905 plain dates are likely exactly the same, both coming with a re-punched first "1". I have not seen a 1905/3, although that overdate is more likely.

One in AU 58 at NGC (1905/1), one in 61 at PCGS, one in MS 62 at NGC (1905/1), two in 63 at NGC, four in 64 at NGC, three at PCGS (two are 1905/3), twelve in 65 at NGC (three are 1905/1), two at PCGS (one is a 1905/3), thirteen in 66 at NGC (four are 1905/1), five in 66 at PCGS, four in 67 at NGC (three are 1905/1). A whopping 58 total graded, 36 in Gem or better, and 4 in MS 67. The truth is that because a lot of these coins come with superior luster with die chatter in the fields regardless of grade, an MS 65 and MS 67 often look similar.

The set specimen shows frosted devices on the obverse surrounded by intense mirrored fields, whereas the reverse has standard rolling luster. There is die chatter on each side, as made. A stunning piece. Sometimes NGC takes off a point or two for this chatter; in this case they did not. The first "1" in the date is re-punched. I see no trace of a "1" under the "5". Tied for top graded with three others. There are only nine MS 67 or 67+ Dineros of any date graded at NGC. So despite being a hoard coin, this 1905 is condition scarce.
View Coin 1905 JF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1905 JF NGC MS 66 A duplicate 1905 JF Dinero from the hoard, in MS 66. See my MS 67 coin for a full discussion of this date. The 1905's have such appealing luster that it's fun to have more than one. This is labeled as a "plain" date instead of 1905/1, however it is from the exact same dies as the previous coin; both with the re-punched "1". I prefer the reverse on this coin to the MS 67 because it's surfaces are more PL, but I prefer the obverse of the 67. This coin has more die chatter showing than the MS 67, which, again, is as made. Tied with seventeen others (four listed as 1905/1), four better.
View Coin 1905 JF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1905 JF NGC MS 65 A third 1905 Dinero in MS 65. See my MS 67 for a full discussion of this date. Gorgeous mirrored fields with frosted devices. Almost no actual contact, the marks are all part of the die, as made. This coin presents better than the MS 66 and is very similar to the quality of the MS 67. Twenty-two better.
View Coin 1906 JF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1906 JF NGC MS 66 1906 is a common date. A goodly number of high end mint state coins have been graded at both services, yet those in Gem or better rarely come on the market. It is likely that a couple small groupings of these coins were graded at the same time, and possibly not dispersed to the public. Very common in circulated grades, and low-end mint state.

No varieties are given by Flatt or Krause for this date. Placement of the "6" in date varies.

Six in MS 62 at PCGS, one at NGC, three in 63 at NGC, one at PCGS, three each in 64 at PCGS/NGC, four in 65 at NGC, three at NGC, three each in 66 at PCGS/NGC, one in 67 at NGC, three at PCGS. Thirty-four total graded, fourteen in Gem or better.

Tied with two others at NGC and three at PCGS in 66. Four better. This coin features soft but full luster with lovely burnt orange tone across the obverse.

Peru 1907 JF - COUNTERFEIT ONLY PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1907 JF WARNING: 1907 JF only exists as a counterfeit or altered coin until proven otherwise. Flatt reports: "Possibly only counterfeit". A knowledgeable associate in Peru reports that all 1907 JF's he has seen there are fakes, but that some Peruvians like to collect them as part of the set.

1907 was the year that the Francisco Gamara (FG) replaced the previous assayer Juan Figueroa (JF). Firgueroa had died from tuberculosis. Though no genuine coins are known at this time, it is conceivable that an 1907 JF Dinero would be struck, given that 1907 JF 1/5 Sols were made.

Unfortunately, the Krause catalog lists the 1907 JF as genuine and "rare" with no value given and no further information. Further, NGC has certified one 1907 JF in MS 65. I believe this is likely a typo, and that it is a normal 1907 FG coin, although I do not have proof of this. (I did make an attempt to verify this, but was unable to).

EXAMPLE: (Right Click and Open In New Tab to see full photo)




1907 FG PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1907 FG 1907 is the first year Dineros came with the initials "FG", standing for Francisco B. Gamarra. He took the reigns on January 16th, 1907 after the previous assayer, Jose Figueroa, died of tuberculosis. It is believed that all 1907 JF Dineros are counterfeit. Please see the 1907 JF page for further discussion. Gamarra served through the end of the Dinero series in 1916.

Starting in this year, and continuing through 1916, coins may be found with the initials FG over JF (and sometimes reportedly FG over other letterings). This is also the first year that a dot may be found under the "O" in DINO. The dots continued on some coins of each year through 1913. 1907 FG is very common in circulated and lower mint state grades. In Gem it becomes more difficult. Prooflike surfaces sometimes appear, especially on the reverse.

Krause lists the normal 1907 FG and 1907 FG/JF. Flatt adds a G/F. He notes that the 1907 FG/JF may come with a 7/7 in the date. The position of the period under the "O" in DINO may vary. Krause gives a price hit of $7.50 if the coin does not come with FG/JF, ignore this. The 1907 of any variety should all be at the same "common" date level. While I have seen a few pieces with a dot, most do not have one under the "O" in DINO, so the former may be considered very scarce. Although many examples have the FG/JF, many examples appear to be the normal "FG". I have also seen an example with a very large "7" in the date. As usual, the placement of the numerals in the date varies and I will not attempt to do an inventory for each die variety a la William Sheldon.

One at NGC in AU 58, four in MS 62 at NGC, one in 63 at NGC, two in 64 at NGC, and two at PCGS in 65 (one is FG/JF). I also know of a 1907 FG in MS 63 at ANACS which I briefly owned.
View Coin 1908 FG FG/JF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1908 FG/JF NGC MS 65 The 1908 is a moderately common later-date Dinero, available in mint state without too much searching. Finding a nice Gem may take some patience.

Flatt lists an 8/8, F/J, and FG/JF (with or without period below "O" in DINO; without period with 8/8). Krause adds an FG/GF, FG/JF, and 1908/6 FG/JF. The FG/GF may not be genuine, although it is conceivable the mint worker placed the letters backwards and then corrected it. All coins I have seen have no dot except my example, so the "with dot" may be considered very scarce to rare. Krause prices all 1908 varieties at the same price point, which is the correct thing to do.

NGC has one in AU 58 (1908/6 FG/JF), three in 62 at NGC (one FG/JF), one at PCGS, two in 63 at NGC, one at PCGS (FG/JF), four in 64 at NGC, one at PCGS, four in 65 at NGC (one FG/JF), one in 66 at PCGS. 17 total in mint state, 5 in Gem or better.

The set specimen is fully argent on both sides, with minimal contact. Dot below "O" in DINO. FG/JF. Lone finest for FG/JF designation. Otherwise tied with three for second place, one finer in 66.
View Coin 1909 FG PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1909 FG NGC MS 63 1909 is a key date for the 20th Century Dineros, just as it is for the 1/2 Dinero and 1/5 Sol series. Examples in any grade show up only infrequently, and mint state coins are very scarce, often not appearing in any given 12 month period. Semi-PL surfaces appear to be the norm.

My coin is tied with two other examples in MS 63 at NGC. There are four better, one in 64 at PCGS , one in 64 at NGC, and one at each service in 65. NGC also has an MS 61.

Flatt lists only the regular 1909 with no period beneath the "O" in DINO, and a 1909/9 with a period. I have only seen "no period" coins thus far. Krause adds an FG/FF and an FG/FO. No mention is given of the more likely FG/JF, frequently seen on Dineros of 1907-1916; indeed my specimen is an FG/JF, not specified by NGC. I am skeptical of both under-letterings in Krause, and NGC has not graded any of these varieties. Regardless, there is no price premium for any variety.

The set specimen is an easy 63. Semi-PL fields glow on each side. Ms. Liberty is frosted, creating a nice Cameo effect. Most of the marks on the coin are not contact, but die polish lines and die scratches. The date appears to be slightly re-punched. No period beneath "O" in DINO.
View Coin 1910 FG/JF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1910 FG/JF NGC MS 66 A few very nice 1910 Dineros were saved (most graded are Gem), but they come on the market very infrequently. Semi-PL fields are the norm, especially on the reverse. While this may seem like a common date, at the time of this writing, there are 17 1910 1/2 Dineros on ebay, with just one badly damaged 1910 Dinero listed.

Flatt reports that all 1910 Dineros have FG/JF with a period under the "O" of DINO (placement can vary). Flatt is not correct. My specimen has no period, and I have seen an example lacking under-lettering. Krause adds an FG/JG. The catalog gives a 10.25 price boost for the FG/JF and FG/JG, but these are not justified in today's market, especially when most 1907-1916 Dineros have under-lettering.

My coin is tied with one other MS 66 1910 at NGC for top graded. However, it is the top graded for the FG/JF designation. NGC also has one MS 63 and three other 1910's in MS 65. PCGS has a one more in MS 65, and an FG/JF and FG/JG, both in 55.

The set specimen is literally perfect. I can not find a solitary contact mark on this coin. The devices are frosted, and the fields are a rare alluring mixture of both satin and reflective luster. Thus said, I was surprised when I got this coin back as an MS 66, without even a plus. I was expecting MS 67 at least. I guess they wanted a bit more "pop" in the fully original luster? For all those who say NGC overgrades, this time they certainly did not. FG/JF, no period.
View Coin 1911 FG F/J PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1911 FG NGC MS 66 1911, like the 1910, is a somewhat scarce later date. A few high end examples were saved, but finding an example can take some diligence. Even in circulated grades, the 1911 may not be available at any given time. Most reverses will have some reflectivity.

None of the 1911's graded at NGC list the coins as having FG/JF initials, though most all coins likely do have the FG/JF. All PCGS label carry the designation. Flatt has all coins as either FG/JF or F/J, with the later possibly coming with a re-punched "1" in the date. Position of dot under O in DINO varies. Krause lists a "plain" 1911 and an FG/JG.

The catalog gives a 10.25 price premium for the two over-letterings. This is unjustified, since most coins are FG/JF.

My coin is the second finest graded with one better at NGC in MS 67. One at PCGS in 62, two each at NGC/PCGS in 64, one in 64+ at NGC, and one each at NGC/PCGS in 65. All NGC coins are graded as 1911 only. All PCGS coins are graded as FG/JF.

This example is extremely clean, with a satin obverse, and PL reverse. It features the 1/1 in the date and is an FG/JF (not recorded on the holder). and O/O in DINO.
View Coin 1912 FG PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1912 FG NGC MS 65 1912 is a somewhat common later date, yet at any given time no examples may be offered on ebay in any grade. I believe an original roll or partial roll may have been broken up in 2013/14. Proof-like reverses are the norm.

Flatt reports a 1912 with and without dot below DINO (placement of dot varies). He also reports and FG/JF without period. Krause adds an FG/JG and 1902/02 FG/JF.

Krause gives a 10.25 price premium to all the varieties. This is not justified as many coins have some form of over-lettering on the assayer initials. Although, from what I've seen, there are more 1912's with under-lettering in the assayer's initials than in some previous years. As Flatt noted, those with a dot don't appear to have much or any under-lettering.


Each service has one coin graded in MS 62 (PCGS FG/JG), three in 63 at NGC, two in 64 at NGC, one at PCGS (FG/JF), one in 65 at each service (PCGS FG/JG), and one in 66 at NGC. Plus one NGC MS 62 1912/02 FG/F. This is a surprising designation by NGC because it not listed in Krause as such.

Set specimen tied with one other 65 at PCGS. One finer in 66 at NGC. This coin has subtle toning over flashy luster and a semi-PL reverse struck from rusty dies. It has a very fresh and attractive look. Dot under "O" in DINO out to the right.
View Coin 1913/1 FG/JF PERU - DECIMAL DINERO 1913/1 FG/JF NGC MS 65 1913 is a moderately available later date Dinero. Mint state examples can be found without too much trouble; many have been graded. Proof-like reverses are common. Varieties abound, see below.

15 total graded in Unc at both services, 8 in Gem or better. One in MS 62 at PCGS (1913/1 FG/JF), two in 63 at NGC, one at PCGS (FG/JB), two in 64 at NGC, five in 65 at NGC (two are 1913/1 FG/JF, one 1913/7 FG/G), one at PCGS (1913/1 FG/JF), two in 66 at NGC, one at PCGS (FG/JB)

Overdates/lettering can be confusing for this date:

Flatt notes that 1913's come with or without a dot under the "O" of "DINO". On those with no dot, they may have an F/J or FG/JG or R/R in "FIRME". I have not yet seen an example with a dot, so they may be rare.

Krause lists varieties and overdates as follows: 1913 FG, 1913 FG/G, 1913 FG/JB, 1913/1 FG/JF, 1913/2 FG, 1913/7 FG/G. I am highly skeptical (despite PCGS grading an example) that the FG/JB really has a "B" under-lettering. FG/JF is much more likely. In reality, it is often very difficult to determine what exactly the under-lettering is on these coins. None actually carry a premium in the market. For whatever reason, Krause gives a 10.25 price premium to all the varieties, except the 1913 FG/G which has a 7.50 price drop. Ignore both these higher and lower prices.

My specimen is nice for the grade, having strong flashy luster on the obverse and some reflectivity on the reverse. No dot under "O" in DINO, FG/JF. There is almost no contact; what appears to be a couple "scratches" are die scratches, as made. Die lines are also seen on the obverse as well as a dramatic "R" over misplaced "R" in FIRME. The 19 in the date is definitely re-punched, and I suppose that is a "1" under the "3" but it's hard to tell. Tied for second finest, three better.
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